Word of the day

December 8, 2012

Hortative –   tending to exhort;  giving exhortation; encouraging; seeking to advise or warn.


Rural round-up

December 8, 2012

Fifty Four Farmers Complete 2012 Environmental Leadership Programme:

Another group of farming leaders is ready to spread the sustainability message, following the successful conclusion of the 2012 Building Dairy Environment Leaders Forum in Southland.

An initiative of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust and DairyNZ, the annual forum enhances leadership qualities by giving top dairy farmers access to leading environmental and business leaders.

The 2012 event was held in Invercargill from November 27 to 29.

Forum chairman and Putaruru dairy farmer Martin Bennett said the 54 farmers participating shared their thoughts on how the dairy industry shapes its response to sustainability challenges. . .

WRONZ leader proud of legacy :

Injecting funds into research, without eroding the capital remaining after the winding up of the Wool Board, is something retiring Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand chairman David Douglas is proud of.

The North Otago farmer, who is stepping down after eight years as a director and five years as chairman of WRONZ, is one of three farmer representatives on the industry body that oversees post-farm gate wool research.

Capital had been built up from $28 million to $32 million and all research funding commitments had been met, Mr Douglas said.

A key achievement during his term had been the formation of the Wool Consortium in 2010. . .

Collaborative approach vital – Sally Rae:

Farmers intuitively know which are their best and poorest-performing paddocks.

The Pasture Renewal Charitable Trust is encouraging them to do something about the difference, citing the potential to significantly increase farm-gate returns, improve animal health and allow greater flexibility in farming systems.

The trust, an independent entity working to increase the rate of pasture renewal in New Zealand, comprises 14 agribusiness companies who sponsor key activities. . .

Meat industry’s high debt levels must concern banks – Allan Barber:

The levels of debt carried by at least some of the major meat companies must be causing concern to the bank syndicates that are providing external working capital to fund their operations. In total the big three have bank debts of a minimum of nearly $750 million.

 Silver Fern Farms is operating on a three month extension to its bank facility which expired at the end of September, but reported current (expiring within 12 months) loans of $316.7 million at the end of its 2012 financial year. In its last published annual accounts to September 2011, ANZCO had current and non-current loans of $220 million which must surely have increased in the very challenging 2012 year. Lastly at the end of September Alliance had $331.8 million of assets and non-current loans of $196.1 million which are clearly not causing any immediate concern. . .

Glamming Up For The Competition

The competition is heating up for the 2013 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies.

More than 100 entries from across the country will be competing next year for the Grand Champion title.

The competition, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Genetics, which aims to find New Zealand’s most tender and tasty lamb is entering its seventh year and sees farmers from across the country vying for the Grand Champion title. . .

And from the Peterson Farm Brothers who brought the world We’re Farming and We Grow it: (Hat tip: PM of NZ)

 


9/10

December 8, 2012

9/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.


State houses not for life

December 8, 2012

Housing New Zealand has suspended 75 former tenants from applying for a state house since the introduction of its suspensions policy a year ago, Housing Minister Phil Heatley said.

The policy, introduced on 30 November 2011, allows Housing New Zealand to suspend former tenants from applying for a state house for one year after their tenancy ends, as a result of serious breaches of their tenancy agreement.

“The policy applies only to the most serious breaches – such as unlawful or anti-social behaviour, fraud or significant vandalism, not one-off incidents like breaking a window, or missing a rent payment,” Mr Heatley said.

“Neighbours are sick of some of the behaviour that they have had to put up with and we know that a strong line on this is very welcome in our communities.

“Housing New Zealand is the country’s largest landlord. It has a responsibility to ensure its tenants are safe and secure in the neighbourhoods they’re in. That also means tenants have an obligation to behave responsibly and respectfully.

The only surprise in this is that the policy was only introduced a year ago.

State houses shouldn’t be the tenants’ for life and they certainly shouldn’t be for anyone who who abuses their tenancy with unlawful or anti-social behaviour, fraud or vandalism.


From joke to tragedy

December 8, 2012

It would have seemed like a good idea at the time, a harmless joke.

A couple of radio hosts seeking to entertain their listeners and boost their ratings phoned the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was staying pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

They probably didn’t think they’d get past reception, let alone to a ward where they struck a nurse who took them seriously.

They recorded the call, broadcast it and then, as such things do these days, it went round the world.

Some were amused by it, a few outraged, most would have given it scant attention.

Some might have wondered how Kate, in the throes of severe morning sickness would have felt about this invasion of her privacy, and some might have wondered how the nurse felt.

Few if any would have thought about the one who initially answered the phone, but now we know she was a nurse and she’s dead:

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said he understood Mrs Saldanha – who was staying in hospital accommodation close to King Edward VII hospital – was the person who answered the call from the Australian DJs and was not the nurse who discussed the duchess’s medical condition.

Mrs Saldanha, a duty nurse who was married with two children, answered the telephone because it was 05:30 GMT and there was no receptionist on duty.

The BBC understands Mrs Saldanha had not been suspended or disciplined by the hospital.

The BBC’s Nicholas Witchell said it had been suggested to him that she had felt “very lonely and confused” as a result of what had happened. . .

Royal College of Nursing chief executive Dr Peter Carter, meanwhile, said it was “deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated and caring member of the nursing profession”. . .

It is easy for someone on the other side of the world to think that suicide is an extreme reaction to what was a human error at 5am, towards the end of a night shift when few would be at their sharpest.

But who knows what else was happening in her life that left her vulnerable?

This is a tragic consequence for what started as a joke, albeit an insensitive one.

The radio hosts’ call was almost certainly a contributing factor in the death but they couldn’t possibly have anticipated their idea of fun would end in tragedy.

They have now been suspended which is, I think, an over-reaction.
Second thoughts: the suspension should have happened immediately for breaching the privacy of a patient. The station and the DJs couldn’t have anticipated the nurse’s death but they ought to have thought about how they were using a staff member.

If any good is to come out of this, it would be that media have yet another look at the boundaries between entertainment and intrusion, public interest and prurience.

I won’t hold my breath.


Another Treaty settlement ticked off

December 8, 2012

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has ticked off another Treaty settlement with the signing of a deed of settlement for all outstanding historical Treaty claims with Ngati Toa Rangatira.

“Today’s settlement highlights the importance of putting the injustices of the past behind us,” Mr Finlayson said. “The actions of the Crown, that included political and military action against the senior Ngati Toa chiefs, ultimately left Ngati Toa virtually landless and without resources in both the North and South Islands. We can never fully compensate for the wrongs of the past but this settlement enables Ngati Toa to build a stronger future.”

The Minister was named MP of the Year by Trans Tasman and topped the NZ Herald’s ministerial rankings.

His record for settling Treaty claims alone is impressive.

Kiwiblog has a chart which shows the productivity of Treaty Negotiations Ministers:

As you can see Doug Graham started them off, and saw through the two largest ones of Ngai Tahu and Tainui, along with a few others in 1999.

Margaret Wilson in four years only managed five agreements, and finished off three of Graham’s.
Mark Burton did just two agreements in three years. So for seven years, there were just eight agreements in principle. At that rate we’d still be negotiating these in 2050!
Michael Cullen did a pretty good job of picking the pace up. He did 12 agreements in just one year!
And Chris Finlayson in four years has done 48 agreements or settlements. We won’t make the goal of having all settlements done by the end of 2014, but we’ll be pretty well advanced towards it.

Even those who are not fans of the settlements, should appreciate the benefits of getting them done sooner or quicker. No party in Parliament (from ACT to Mana) claims these should not happen. . .

Ngai Tahu provides a wonderful example of what happens when an Iwi moves from grievance to growth.

Its Treaty settlement has been put to good use and the investments are not only providing benefits for its own people but are making a significant contribution to the South Island economy and New Zealand.


December 8 in history

December 8, 2012

65 BC Horace, Roman poet, was born (d. 8 BC).

1432 – The first battle between the forces of Švitrigaila and Sigismund Kęstutaitis was fought near the town of Oszmiana (Ashmyany), launching the most active phase of the civil war in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

1542  Mary Queen of Scots, was born (d. 1587).

1609  The Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan opened its reading room, the second public library in Europe.

1660 Margaret Hughes became the first actress to appear on an English public stage, playing the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare’s play Othello.

1765 – Eli Whitney, American inventor of the cotton gin, was born  (d. 1825).
1854 -  In his Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogmatic definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was born free of original sin.

1864 The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon was officially opened.

1865 Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer, was born (d. 1957).

1886 Diego Rivera, Mexican painter, was born (d. 1957).

1894 E.C. Segar, American cartoonist (Popeye), was born  (d. 1938).

1894 James Thurber, American humorist and cartoonist, was born  (d. 1961).

1904 Konservativ Ungdom (Young Conservatives)  was founded by Carl F. Herman von Rosen. It is the oldest political youth organization in Denmark and believed to be one of the oldest in the world.

1925  Sammy Davis Jr., American actor and singer, was born (d. 1990).

1933  Flip Wilson, American comedian, was born (d. 1998).

1939 Sir James Galway, Northern Irish flautist, was born.

1941 New Zealand declared war on Japan.

New Zealand declares war on Japan
1941 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7 to be “a day which will live in infamy“, after which the U.S. and the Republic of China declared war against Japan.

1942 A fire at Seacliff Hospital killed 37 people.

Fire at Seacliff Mental Hospital kills 37

1951 – Bill Bryson, American author, was born.

1953 Kim Basinger, American actress, was born.

1953 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his Atoms for Peace speech, and the U.S. launched its “Atoms for Peace” programme that supplied equipment and information to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world.

1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707, was struck by positive lightning and crashed near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board.

1966 Sinéad O’Connor, Irish musician, was born.

1966 –  The Greek ship SS Heraklion sank in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200.

1972 – United Airlines Flight 553 crashed after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killing 45.

1974 A plebiscite resulted in the abolition of monarchy in Greece.

1980 John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York.

1987 – Croat Frank Vitkovic shotsand killed eight people at the offices of the Australia Post in Melbourne, before being killed himself.

1987 – The Alianza Lima air disaster -  a Peruvian Navy Fokker F27-400M chartered by Peruvian football club Alianza Lima plunged into the Pacific Ocean six miles short of its destination, killing 43 of the 44 people on board.

1991 The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1993 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law by US President Bill Clinton.

1997  Jenny Shipley became New Zealand’s first female Prime Minister.

Jenny Shipley

199 – The Australian Cricket Board’s cover-up of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh’s involvement with bookmakers was revealed.

2004 The Cuzco Declaration was signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.

2005 – Ante Gotovina, a Croatian army general accused of war crimes, was captured in the Playa de las Américas, Tenerife by the Spanish police.

2008  Kirsty Williams was elected as Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The first female leader of a political party in Wales.

2009 Bombings in Baghdad, killed 127 and injured 448.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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