Marcia Russell, journalism pioneer has died

December 1, 2012

Marcia Russell, the first woman to report daily news for the New Zealand Herald, has died.

Her biography at NZOnScreen  records:

Marcia Russell began working in journalism at a time when women were more likely to be employed to type letters and make the tea. Her trailblazing career in print journalism and television has encompassed a major transformation in the number of women who work in both fields. 

At high school in Auckland, Marcia Russell enjoyed writing. “I thought that’s what I want to do,” she later said, “make a living by writing and going around interviewing people, and talking to them about their lives”. But she got the impression that the visiting guidance counsellor was keener to promote jobs which would serve as a stop-gap measure before marriage. 

The former head prefect began as a cadet reporter at the NZ Herald in 1959. Russell was the first woman to work on the general news pages of the morning paper, although at that point laws made it problematic for women to work past 11pm.

In 1961 she set off for England, where she did a stint in public relations, helped edit a TV magazine and dabbled in scriptwriting. 

Back in New Zealand, Russell worked behind the scenes as a writer and editor on a range of magazines and newspapers. In 1968 she became founding editor of Thursday magazine. The magazine was designed as a more in-depth alternative to the many women’s magazines of the time that were filled with “wall to wall knit your own royal family”. . .

Journalism was so much easier for women when I started more than 30 years after her, thanks to what she did and how well she did it.


Rural round-up

December 1, 2012

Land and Water Forum better solution than Horizons’ One Plan – Lyn Neeson:

When my husband and I purchased our first 345 hectares in 1987, we never thought 25 years later we’d be fighting a regional council for survival.

Through good years and bad, we have worked hard to grow our farm to 1,500 hectares carrying 4,500 ewes and 250 Angus cattle over winter.

Farming keeps your feet on the ground because it is hard to have airs and graces during docking and shearing.

We also want to keep farming here. . .

2012 peak milk production setting new records:

In spite of a cold, wet spring on the West Coast, Westland Milk Products’ shareholder/suppliers on both sides of the Alps have re-written the record books with a peak milk production of 3.2 million litres, edging ahead of last season by 3% season to date.

Says Chief Executive Rod Quin: “This essentially means our shareholders are managing to maintain and even improve on production, which is a considerable testament to their productivity and efficiency.” . . .

Wheat genome’s key parts unlocked in new study -Mark Kinver:

Scientists have unlocked key parts of the complex genetic code of wheat, one of the world’s most important crops, which could help improve food security.

The team hopes the data will accelerate the development of varieties more resilient to stresses, such as disease and drought, that cause crops to fail.

The 2012 wheat harvest was hit by extreme weather events around the globe, causing a sharp rise in prices. . .

Westland shareholders elect two new directors:

Westland Milk products shareholders have elected Hari Hari farmer Kirsty Robertson to represent the Southern Ward after director Jim Wafelbakker stepped down from the post after 25 years’ service.

Westland Chief Executive Rod Quin says few directors of any company could claim the record of service clocked up by Jim Wafelbakker.

“It is one of the hallmarks of Westland Milk Products that the company, because of its cooperative structure and the closeness of West Coast communities, often attracts a loyalty and record of service you’d usually associate with a family-owned business. Jim is a prime example of that. He came onto the board in 1987 and earned the loyalty of southern area shareholders right from the start. He has been an able and passionate advocate of them, and of Westland Milk Company as a whole.” . . .

Farmers getting ready for a dry summer:

Federated Farmers recommends farmers have contingency plans in place in case the current mild El Nino intensifies, bringing a higher risk of drought, Federated Farmers adverse events spokesperson Katie Milne says.

“Summer is looming and some parts of the country are already experiencing drier weather than last year, which for farmers in the summer dry areas means a return to business as usual,” Ms Milne says.

“Some regions are already noticeably drier than usual, which is causing some concerns. With summer officially starting tomorrow it is important that farmers have contingency plans in place, such as de-stocking and getting in supplementary feeds. . .

Would you like wine with your spectacular sea view?:

Kina Cliffs has become the latest wine vineyard in the Nelson/Tasman region to open a cellar door and tasting room.

Located next to their home at 38 Cliff Road, at Kina the stylish new tasting room offers a truly breath-taking nearly 270° view that stretches from Nelson across Tasman Bay to the Abel Tasman National Park and around across rolling hills to Mount Campbell and the Western Ranges. . .

Hemp Seeds Sown:

Midlands Seed Ltd has recently completed the planting of this seasons hemp crops, which they grow under contract with farmer suppliers in the South Island. It’s an exciting time for the Ashburton based company and its subsidiary company Oil Seed Extractions Limited (OSE) who Cold Press the resultant seed to produce Hemp seed oil. FSANZ have recommended an amendment to food regulation laws allowing the sale of hemp foods in New Zealand and Australia, which if approved should mean more hemp crops grown in New Zealand in the future.

Hemp is an annual plant, with a 120 day growth cycle. Hemp crops are grown for fibre or alternatively for seed, which can be processed to oil and other nutritious foods. Whilst Hemp has a reputation as an easy plant to grow with a host of benefits, Hemp seed production brings with it numerous challenges. . .


Saturday’s smiles

December 1, 2012

A young Scottish lad and lass were sitting on a low stone wall, holding hands, gazing out over the loch. For several minutes they sat silently.

Eventually,  the girl looked at the boy and said, “A penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

“Well, uh, I was thinkin’…perhaps it’s aboot time for a wee kiss, Morag.”

She blushed, then leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek.

Then he blushed and the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.

Minutes passed and the girl spoke again. “Another penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

“Well, uh, I was thinkin’ perhaps noo it’s aboot time for a wee cuddle.”

Morag blushed, then leaned over and cuddled him for a few seconds.

Then he blushed, and the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch. After a while, she again said, “Another penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

“Well, uh, I was thinkin’ perhaps it’s aboot time you let me put my hand on your leg.”

She blushed, then took his hand and put it on her knee. Then he blushed. Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch before the girl spoke again.

“Another penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

The young man glanced down with a furled brow. “Well,noo,” he said, “my thoughts are a wee bit more serious this time.”

“Really?” said the lass in a whisper.

“Aye,” said the lad, nodding.

The girl looked away in shyness, began to blush, and bit her lip as she waited to hear what he was going to say.

Then he said, “Dae ye nae think, Morag,  it’s aboot time ye paid me the first three pennies?”


Crafar farms sale finally settled

December 1, 2012

It’s taken far longer than it ought to have, but the sale of the former Crafar farms has finally been settled.

Today, after a long and extensive process, the Receivers from KordaMentha have secured final settlement with Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group Limited for the Crafar Farms.

Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group Limited’s offer was accepted by the Receivers two years ago and has been subject to many hurdles, opposition and challenges.

Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha said “despite a long and challenging process, we are happy to have secured the sale of the Crafar farms at a very pleasing price. Following extensive local and international marketing of the farms as individual units and as a group, Pengxin’s offer was far and above the best received so we are very satisfied to secure final settlement.

“We have operated the properties for three years and the farms will be handed over as a full going concern for Pengxin and Landcorp. The farms we inherited required some hard work and investment during a volatile economic environment, the support of our appointing banks, staff and sharemilkers during these challenging three years has been exceptional. We understand the new owners and operators will continue that work and investment in the farms. . .

While I don’t think the government should be farming that is a political view about best use of public money which doesn’t reflect on Landcorp’s ability to manage farms.

The company makes a poor return on capital.

But the farms it owns and manages are generally well run and the former Crafar farms should do much betteer under Landcorp management.

 


Focus, former MPs bound to fail

December 1, 2012

Quite why I was in parliament buildings in 1996 I can’t recall.

But I do remember being in the office of an MP with several others including Ross Meurant who had resigned from the National Party and formed the Right of Centre Party when his electorate disappeared with the introduction of MMP.

He told us he’d formed the party to give National a coalition partner. We told him it wouldn’t work.

We were right.

Since then he’s occupied himself in a variety of ways:

Meurant was elected onto the Rodney District Council in 1998. However, his time with the Rodney District Council was short-lived: the entire council was dissolved by the Minister of Local Government after an acrimonious relationship between the general manager and Meurant culminated in a split within the council.

Between 1999 and 2004 Meurant was engaged by parliamentary services as a part time adviser on agriculture, forestry, fishing and racing taxation policy to Winston Peters, . . .

He’s now on the board of another new party – Focus New Zealand (which was, until its first meeting last week, the New Zealand Rural Party).

Another ex-MP, Sandra Goudie is on the board with him.

She won the Coromandel seat from then-Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, served three terms then had the good sense to announce she wouldn’t contest the seat last year.

That good sense has now deserted her.

If either of them had learned anything from their tenure as MPs they would be aware of the time, energy, money and members needed to run a party and win elections. They would also know they won’t succeed.

Perhaps they didn’t realise that when they were in parliament and if they did they can’t have shared it with their fellow board members among whom is  former Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Lachlan McKenzie.

They might attract some votes from the disenchanted and deluded. But unless they can work a miracle which no other new party without a sitting MP has managed Focus NZ will join the long list of wannabe MPs and parties that have come and gone without getting anywhere near parliament.


Fonterra focus still payout

December 1, 2012

Yesterday was a big day for Fonterra.

Prime Minister John Key opened the company’s new $200m Darfield site.

Shortly before the opening, Fonterra’s units were launched on the stock exchange making  the biggest listing day stag that investors have seen for years.

The non-voting units, which launched at midday today, surged as high as $6.95, a 26 percent stag before closing at $6.85 from an offer price of $5.50. The fund’s turnover was $179.8 million as investors scrambled to get a slice of dairy exporter Fonterra Cooperative Group’s dividend stream.

Turnover in the NZX50 was lower, but substantial, at $175.2 million.

The most comparable float was the December 2011 listing of TradeMe, which rose 6.9 percent on its first day, and was up about 10 percent on its issue price by the end of its first week’s trading, said Andrew Bascand, at Harbour Asset Management.

The fund attracted more trading than the rest of the NZX50 put together and is likely to have been attractive to foreign investors, who took 42 percent of the initial issue of units after Tuesday’s book-build. . .

The price increase amounts to an extra $300,000 in value for the average Fonterra shareholder.

However, in a newsletter to shareholders, chair Sir Henry van der Heyden says the company’s focus will still be on the payout.

TAF was about removing redemption risk and giving farmers some more flexibility but making money from the milk they produce will be of more importance to shareholders than the price of units on the stock exchange.


December 1 in history

December 1, 2012

800 – Charlemagne judged the accusations against Pope Leo III.

1420 – Henry V of England entered Paris.

1640 – End of the Iberian Union: Portugal acclaimed as King, João IV of Portugal, thus ending a 60 year period of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain and the end of the rule of the House of Habsburg (also called the Philippine Dynasty).

1761 Marie Tussaud, French creator of wax sculptures (Madame Tussauds), was born (d. 1850).

1768 – The slave ship Fredensborg sank off Tromøy in Norway.

1821 – The first constitution of Costa Rica was issued.

1822 – Pedro I was crowned Emperor of Brazil.

1824 – U.S. presidential election, 1824: Since no candidate had received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives was given the task of deciding the winner in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

1826 – French philhellene Charles Nicolas Fabvier forced his way through the Turkish cordon and ascended the Acropolis of Athens, which had been under siege.

1834 – Slavery was abolished in the Cape Colony in accordance with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

1864 – In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.

1913 – The Buenos Aires Subway started operating, the first underground railway system in the southern hemisphere and in Latin America.

1913 – The Ford Motor Company introduced the first moving assembly line.

1913 – Crete, was annexed by Greece.

1918 – Transylvania united with Romania.

1918 – Iceland became a sovereign state, yet remained a part of the Danish kingdom.

1918 – The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) was proclaimed.

1919 – Lady Astor became the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons (she had been elected to that position on November 28).

1925 – World War I aftermath: The final Locarno Treaty was signed in London, establishing post-war territorial settlements.

1932  – Matt Monro, English singer, was born.

1933 – Pilot E.F. (‘Teddy’) Harvie and his passenger, Miss Trevor Hunter, set a record for the longest flight within New Zealand in a single day. They flew approximately 1880 km between North Cape and Invercargill in 16 hours 10 minutes.

1934 – Politburo member Sergei Kirov was shot dead by Leonid Nikolayev at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad.

1935 Woody Allen, American film director, actor, and comedian, was born.

1939 Lee Trevino, American golfer, was born.

1940  Richard Pryor, American actor, comedian, was born.

1941 – Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signed Administrative Order 9, creating the Civil Air Patrol.

1945 Bette Midler, American actress and singer, was born.

1946  Gilbert O’Sullivan, Irish singer, was born.

1952 – The New York Daily News reported the news of Christine Jorgenson, the first notable case of sexual reassignment surgery.

1955 – American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city’s racial segregation laws.

1958 – The Central African Republic became independent from France.

1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago killed 92 children and three nuns.

1959 – Cold War: Opening date for signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent.

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best were arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.

1961 – The independent Republic of West Papua was proclaimed in modern-day Western New Guinea.

1965 – The Border Security Force was formed in India as a special force to guard the borders.

1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States was held since World War II.

1971 – Cambodian Civil War: Khmer Rouge rebels intensified assaults on Cambodian government positions, forcing their retreat from Kompong Thmar and nearby Ba Ray.

1971 – The Indian Army recaptured part of Kashmir occupied forcibly by Pakistan.

1973 – Papua New Guinea gained self government from Australia.

1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashed northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on-board.

1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashed northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashed in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.

1981 – The AIDS virus was officially recognized.

1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

1988 – Benazir Bhutto was appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.

1989 – 1989 Philippine coup attempt: The right-wing military rebel Reform the Armed Forces Movement attempted to oust Philippine President Corazon Aquino in a failed bloody coup d’état.

1989 – Cold War: East Germany’s parliament abolished the constitutional provision granting the communist party the leading role in the state.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed.

1991 – Cold War: Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union.

2001 – Captain Bill Compton brought Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

2001  Aiko, Princess Toshi of Japan, was born.

2009 – The Treaty of Lisbon, which amended the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, which together comprise the constitutional basis of European Union, came into effect.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,162 other followers

%d bloggers like this: