Word of the day

November 19, 2012

Poseur – a person who habitually pretends to be something s/he is not or to have qualities that s/he does not have; one who affects a particular attribute, attitude, or identity to impress or influence others;


Rural round-up

November 19, 2012

Fonterra Shareholders’ Council opposes resolution:

The Fonterra Shareholders’ Council, is advising the dairy co-operative’s farmer owners to reject a proposal aimed at reinforcing their control of the board and company.

A group of farmers has put forward a resolution calling for a minimum of nine farmer-elected directors on the board and a maximum of four appointed directors. . .

NZ producer prices fall in 3Q, led by electricity, dairy:

New Zealand producer input and output prices fell last quarter, led by electricity and dairy products, confirming there’s still little sign of inflation pressures in the economy.

Producer input prices, or prices paid by producers, fell 1 percent, the first quarterly decline since the third quarter of 2009, following a 0.6 percent gain three months earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. Output prices, or prices received by producers, fell 0.9 percent, the biggest drop since the third quarter of 2009, after gaining 0.3 percent in the second quarter.

The government statistician already released inflation data for the third quarter last month, showing the consumer price index rose a smaller-than-expected 0.3 percent, for an annual pace of 0.8 percent, below the central bank’s 1 percent-to-3 percent target band. . .

No Canterbury show without characters – Sally Rae:

When Woodbury Lilly was named supreme champion animal at the Canterbury A and P Show three years ago, it was a “magical” experience for Clydesdale breeders Jim and Deborah Cook.

The Cook family, from Cust, in Canterbury, are regular exhibitors at the show and took four horses to this year’s event.

Mrs Cook recalled that when Lilly was in the ring being judged she noticed the mare had a real presence about her. . .

Stoneleigh New Vintage Release Wins Gold at the Sydney International Wine Competition:

Stoneleigh has been awarded a Blue-Gold Medal for the new vintage release of one of its most exciting wines, Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Pinot Noir 2011, at the Sydney International Wine Competition 2013.

Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011, awarded in the Pinot Noir category, is a single vineyard wine showing finesse and purity of flavour garnered from the unique gravel stony soils of the original Stoneleigh vineyard in the heart of the Rapaura region, Marlborough, New Zealand.

Jamie Marfell Stoneleigh Winemaker says to win a Blue-Gold Medal at the Sydney International Wine Competition is a true testament to the purity and quality of Pinot Noir coming from Rapaura. . .

Biodiesel deal great for growers:

Federated Farmers Grain & Seed welcomes the sale of Solid Energy’s agribusiness division of Biodiesel New Zealand has been concluded and a new company, Pure Oil New Zealand Limited, has been formed.

“After hearing a few weeks ago it was possible Solid Energy could simply shut the doors of Biodiesel, this is the news oilseed rape growers have been waiting for,” says Federated Farmers South Canterbury Grain & Seed Chairman and oilseed rape grower, Colin Hurst. . .

Wool group to give report ‘serious consideration’:

The Wool Unity Group says it will give serious consideration to recommendations made in a report it commissioned from professional services company KPMG.

The group was formed following a crisis meeting the Primary Industries Minister held three years ago after farmers voted to dump a levy to fund wool promotion.

Chairman Colin Harvey says the report identified problems as well as opportunities in the wool industry which need to be addressed. . .

Sustainable Farming Film Festival:

Practical examples of sustainable farming techniques such as polyface farming, permaculture, forest gardens, edible cattle hedges, biological farming and organics all feature in a Sustainable Farming Film Festival coming to Okato’s Hempton Hall next Saturday 24 November.

Climate Justice Taranaki have hit the headlines a lot since they formed in late 2010, criticising new oil and gas exploration, in particular the dangerous technique called fracking, but the group is not just about saying ‘NO’ to more fossil fuels. Climate Justice Taranaki has also made it their responsibility to help get solutions out to those in positions to significantly reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Farming is one industry that contributes a fair chunk of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions but it could also be the leading ‘carbon farming’ industry if it changes its ways. . .


Two years on

November 19, 2012

Today marks the second anniversary of the explosion in the Pike River mine which led to the death of 29 men.

Some of those who lost family and friends will have grieved, accepted their loss and started new lives.

Some are still locked in grief and anger and focussed on what may well be the hopeless task of retrieving the remains of the dead.

Today all will be remembering the men who died, thinking of what they lost and what might have been.

It is still so new & all we see is the empty space, but that is not how it is in the landscape of the heart. There, there is no empty space & he still laughs & grapples with ideas & plans & nods wisely with each of us in turn. We are proud to have known him. We are proud to have called him friend. – Landscape of the Heart by Brian Andreas at Story People.


Shearer wins – for now

November 19, 2012

Labour leader David Shearer called David Cunliffe’s bluff and has won – for now.

Shearer said he would call for a vote of confidence in the next couple of weeks rather than waiting until February.

Cunliffe has said he’d vote for Shearer in that first vote but won’t confirm his intentions for February.

That means he hasn’t got the numbers now but is not giving up on his leadership ambitions.

However, Shearer has come out of this looking strong and Cunliffe has come out of it looking stupid.

His assessment of his own ability is obviously several steps ahead of that of his caucus colleagues. He might have had support from unions and other Labour members for a coup, but that isn’t enough if Shearer calls for a vote of confidence soon.

Cunliffe might still win a challenge in February but he’ll be trying from a much weaker position after his antics at the weekend.

There are few good times to show you’re disloyal to your leader and the party conference certainly isn’t one of them. It shows you’re putting yourself before the party.

That could well be enough for  waverers in caucus and the wider party to turn their backs on him.

Shearer has signalled a reshuffle of caucus responsibilities. Whether or not this is the time to send a message to non-performers, he has no choice but to demote Cunliffe.

That still won’t  take the heat out of speculation on the party’s leadership, the rule change at the weekend will keep it bubbling until February.

That speculation won’t just be over whether Cunliffe will give up his leadership ambitions but whether he can stay in the party.

 

 


Spot the contradiction

November 19, 2012

Labour says it wants to make housing more affordable.

It’s even prepared to put public money into building basic houses for first home buyers.

* KiwiBuild: a 10 year programme to build 100,000 basic homes for first home buyers (less than $300,000). In partnership with the private sector and community housing groups.

* Two thirds of the homes built in the first 5 years will be in Auckland. Others will be in other ‘unaffordable’ centres such as Christchurch, Tauranga, Nelson, Wellington and Queenstown.

* Cost: a one-off $1.5 billion initial investment, to be recouped as homes are sold. Will also sell ‘housing affordability bonds.’

Though as Kiwiblog points out that $1.5 billion doesn’t take in into account the cost of interest.

Cactus Kate points out it doesn’t appear to be means tested.

That would, like several of the bribes from the last Labour government, mean help for those who don’t necessarily need it.

Another flaw in this policy is the contradiction between this attempt to make housing more affordable and the commitment to a capital gains tax which would make property more expensive.

It’s not the only contradiction from Labour’s weekend conference. The party also voted to reduce the voting age to 18 16 although it wanted to increase the purchase age for alcohol to 20.


A tale of two Davids

November 19, 2012

David spent the weekend at the Labour Party conference.

David did too.

David leads the Labour Party.

David wants to too.

David has the support of some of the caucus.

David does too.

David isn’t so popular with unions and other lesser members.

David is more popular with unions and other lesser members.

David wants to put the leadership to the vote.

David does too.

Could David work with David afterwards and would he want to?

If David wins will David go or will he stay and try again?

If David loses will he stay or will this be the end of his political career?

 

 

 

 


November 19 in history

November 19, 2012

1095 – The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, began.

1493 – Christopher Columbus went ashore on an island he first saw the day before. He named it San Juan Bautista (later renamed Puerto Rico).

1600 King Charles I of England was born (d. 1649).

1794 – The United States and Great Britain signed Jay’s Treaty, which attempts to resolve some of the lingering problems left over from the American Revolutionary War.

1805 Ferdinand de Lesseps, French diplomat and Suez Canal engineer, was born (d. 1894).

1816 – Warsaw University was established.

1847 – The Montreal and Lachine Railway, was opened.

1863 – American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

1881 – A meteorite landed near the village of Grossliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

1905 Tommy Dorsey, American bandleader, was born (d. 1956).

1916 – Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn established Goldwyn Pictures.

1917 Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India was born (d. 1984).

1930 – Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow committed their first of a large series of robberies and other criminal acts.

1933 Larry King, American TV personality, was born.

1941 – World War II: Battle between HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran. The two ships sank each other off the coast of Western Australia, with the loss of 645 Australians and about 77 German seamen.

1942 – World War II: Battle of Stalingrad – Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launched the Operation Uranus counterattacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR’s favor.

1943 – Holocaust: Nazis liquidated Janowska concentration camp in Lemberg (Lviv), western Ukraine, murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.

1944 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the 6th War Loan Drive, aimed at selling $14 billion USD in war bonds to help pay for the war effort.

1950 – US General Dwight D. Eisenhower became supreme commander of NATO-Europe.

1954 – Télé Monte Carlo, Europe’s oldest private television channel, was launched by Prince Rainier III.

1955 – National Review published its first issue.

1959 – The Ford Motor Company announced the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel.

1961 Meg Ryan, American actress, was born.

1962 Jodie Foster, American actress, was born.

1967 – The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong.

1969 – Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed at Oceanus Procellarum (the “Ocean of Storms”) and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.

1969 – Football player Pelé scored his 1,000th goal.

1977 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel.

1977 – Transportes Aéreos Portugueses Boeing 727 crashed in Madeira Islands, killing 130.

1979 – Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.

1984 – San Juanico Disaster: A series of explosions at the PEMEX petroleum storage facility at San Juan Ixhuatepec in Mexico City started a major fire and killed about 500 people.

1985 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time.

1985 – Pennzoil won a $10.53 billion USD judgment against Texaco, in the largest civil verdict in the history of the United States, stemming from Texaco executing a contract to buy Getty Oil after Pennzoil had entered into an unsigned, yet still binding, buyout contract with Getty.

1988 – Serbian communist representative and future Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic publicly declared that Serbia was under attack from Albanian separatists in Kosovoas well as internal treachery within Yugoslavia and a foreign conspiracy to destroy Serbia and Yugoslavia.

1990 – Pop group Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy Award because the duo did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It’s True album. Session musicians had provided all the vocals.

1992 The Fred Hollows Foundation was established in New Zealand.

Fred Hollows Foundation launched in NZ

1994 – In Great Britain, the first National Lottery draw was held. A £1 ticket gave a one-in-14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.

1996 – Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril of Canada arrived in Africa to lead a multi-national policing force in Zaire.

1998 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee began impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.

1998 – Vincent van Gogh‘s Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for $US71.5 million.

1999 – Shenzhou 1: China launched its first Shenzhou spacecraft.

2010 – An explosion in the Pike River mine trapped 29 men.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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