Word of the day

January 14, 2013

Rident laughing; smiling; cheerful.


Diplomacy in words

January 14, 2013

It’s far too early to award the diplomatic line of the year award, but this from Rotorua MP Todd McLay has to be a contender:

I don’t think anybody could do Tim Groser’s job but I would love an opportunity to do more in an area I have done a bit of work in before.

He was replying to Audrey Young who asked him if he would like Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser’s job.

 

 


Rural round-up

January 14, 2013

Collaboration vital for sector – new CEO - Sally Rae:

A government focus on primary sector growth, alongside increasing concerns about the environment, poses challenges for the future of the agricultural sector, Ravensdown’s new chief executive, Greg Campbell, says.

It was important all sections of the industry worked together to achieve desired outcomes, Mr Campbell, who started work this month, said.

The sector was the ”pillar of New Zealand’s economic prosperity” and it was important soil, water and air was managed in a sustainable manner. . .

Brotherly ‘rivalry’ in studs - Sally Rae:

When Duncan Elliot was a young boy, all he wanted was a shearing hand-piece.

Forget the PlayStation games and other electronic gizmos that his contemporaries desired, he was firmly focused on farming.

Now 16, Duncan, from Lammermoor Station, Paerau, in the south of the Maniototo, started crutching when he was 10 and began shearing his own sheep last year. He, his elder brother Lachlan (20) and sister Brooke (22) have inherited a family passion for the land, and for purebred sheep. . . 

Hooked on dog trialling for life – Diane Bishop:

He’s nearly 80, but Murray Lott has no intention of hanging up his dog whistle.

The successful dog trialist will mark his milestone birthday on January 24 just a few weeks before the new dog trial season starts.

Murray, who lives at Manapouri Downs, near The Key, has competed with both huntaways and heading dogs, but these days prefers heading dogs because they don’t require as much work as their boisterous friends. . .

‘Big guys’ not only target – Diane Bishop:

Strong wool growers frustrated with low returns are backing the farmer-led Wools of New Zealand model.

Chairman Mark Shadbolt said more than $4.1 million had been raised from 552 growers representing about 12 million kilograms of wool production since the offer opened in late October and he was confident of achieving the minimum subscription of $5 million.

But, the company wasn’t about to rest on its laurels. . .

Getting serious about safety – Rebecca Harper:

Quad bikes are a familiar sight on many farms, the reliable workhorse and an essential tool for getting the job done.

Most farmers are sensible and safe when it comes to the use of quad bikes, but they are a dangerous machine and if you end up beneath one, chances are you won’t come out better off.

Talk about quad bike safety is nothing new, but mainstream media has latched on to the topic in recent weeks after a spate of quad-related accidents this summer, several fatal, including a farmer. . .

Macaulay appointed NZIPIM chief executive:

The New Zealand Institute Primary Industry Management (NZIPIM) has appointed Stephen Macaulay to its newly created chief executive role.

NZIPIM is a membership-based association for rural professionals who provide professional services for the primary sector.

Macaulay comes to the role with a wealth of experience within the agricultural industry.

He has previously worked as general manager of the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), the Retail Meat Industry Training Organisation and Retail Meat New Zealand. . .

Curious woolly things: food from Campaign For Wool:

Breakfast: Start the day as you mean to go on with a feast of donuts. This pic comes from Just Crafty Enough.

donuts

Kat at Just Crafty Enough made these donuts.

Lunch: After a hearty breakfast of donuts, you’ll probably only want something light for your lunch. Go for a nice egg salad.

salad

Egg Salad from DominoCat

Snack: Popcorn! NYC artist Ed Bing Lee has made a variety of different woolly foods using the macramé method, from burgers to hot dogs to key lime pies. But our favourite is this all-American popcorn.

popcorn

Macrame Popcorn from Ed Bing Lee

Maybe go for the healthier option and just have some fruit?

fruit

Fruit box from La Gran Tricotada Campaign for Wool event in Madrid

Or some pickles

pickles

Nicole Gastonguay’s Pickles

Dinner: A few dinner options here. If you’re a meat eater why not try the…

Pork Pie

Poor little piggies…

Pork Pie! Some amazing woolly food work from Kate Jenkins here, part of the 2010 exhibition “Come Dine With Kate”. You can see all the work that was on display at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery website.

Clemence Joly is another great artist who has produced some woolly meat at his Wool Butchery.

Wool butchery

Wool Butchery

Don’t forget the two veg! Those clever people at the Creative Moments craft group in Perry Common have been knitting these vegetables for the Gardeners World Live event.

Two Veg

Really looks good enough to eat…

Alternatively you could go for the cheeseburger

Cheeseburger

The Not-so-Mad Hatter made this fine cheeseburger crochet hat. Looks a little bit mad though.

Dessert: I don’t know how you could possibly fit anything else in after all that food, but I guess you can’t go wrong with cake for afters. Have a cupcake.

cupcake

This cupcake is actually a pincushion…

Or if you prefer something savoury, you could always go for the cheese board.

cheeseboard

Another of Kate Jenkins’ finest. Wouldn’t recommend eating the mice though.


Dairy farm syndicates attractive but . . .

January 14, 2013

MyFarm is predicting an increase in investment in dairy farm syndicates this year.

MyFarm Director Andrew Watters says: “The industry is entering a positive cycle in 2013, benefitting from rising global milk prices and greater investor focus on the sector.

“The successful $525 million capital raising by Fonterra in December highlighted the attractions of dairying, but at the same time revealed the complexities of investing in the sector in New Zealand. Only by investing in dairy farms can investors benefit from rising milk prices.”

In the year to December 2012 73 New Zealanders invested a total of $35 million in four new My Farm managed dairy farm syndicates and eight established dairy syndicates. This compares with $43.9 million in 2011, when 81 New Zealanders invested into 12 new dairy farm syndicates and 2010 when 68 investors invested $44 million into 9 new syndicates. . .

The successful float of Fonterra Shareholders Fund units has increased interest in dairying investment and the expected increase in milk prices this year will make dairying a more attractive investment.

MyFarm has a good reputation but not all farm syndicates are.

There have been successes but there have also been some very expensive failures.

Reasons for that include paying too much for farms, having too little to invest in improvements which would boost production as well as problems with both governance and management.

There is money to be made in dairying but there’s no easy money and like any other investment it comes with risks.


Ignorant or shameless?

January 14, 2013

Supporters of David Cunliffe criticise David Shearer for erring towards the centre rather than the left.

That says more about their place on the political spectrum than Shearer’s, but how different are the policies of the two men anyway?

Rob Hosking  says they’re not:

Nothing in Labour leader David Shearer’s Sunday speech was at odds with anything economic development spokesman David Cunliffe has been saying, not only this year but before the election, before his demotion from the finance spokesmanship. . .

But there is a problem:

. . . It should be stated that all these policies or goals are not bad in themselves. Some are highly desirable.

It is just they do not hang together as a coherent programme. Economically, they are contradictory and they will cause more problems than they solve.

And this is the first difference between the two. Mr Cunliffe is economically qualified enough to know they are incoherent and will strain against each other. Mr Shearer has no such knowledge and probably believes what he is saying. . .

What’s worse – a party leader who is ignorant of economics doesn’t understand economics or one who wants to be leader and pretends ignorance?

. . . As noted, Mr Cunliffe is economically savvy enough to know all this, and is shameless enough to peddle it to people who do not know any better. It is one of the ironies of all this that many of those who do not know any better are in the Labour Party and include its current leader. . .

Many of those who don’t know any better support the party too.

The only other reason they could favour policies which would increase spending, taxation, and welfare for people in greed rather than need is putting their short term interests before the longer term interests of the country.


What do these people know about real estate?

January 14, 2013

The Labour Party’s housing plan for first home buyers has a little more than 70% support in a Herald-Digipoll survey of 500 people.

What do these people know about real estate?

The policy is to provide houses for $300,000 and you could build a house for that.

We built a manager’s house last year for $280,000.

It’s got three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, a double garage and is clad in Oamaru stone.

But we already owned the land. There aren’t many places in the country where you could buy a section for $20,000.

You could build a more modest house. We built a house for dairy staff last year too. It cost $180,000 for three bedrooms, one bathroom with a lean two single car garage.

That would leave $120,000 for a section and you could probably buy a reasonable one in small towns for that but it wouldn’t get you much in a city, especially Auckland where the biggest mismatch between supply and demand is driving up property prices.

If the media was doing its job as the fourth estate properly it would be analysing the policy.

While doing so journalists might ask where the workers who will build the extra 100,000 houses a year are going to come from when there’s already a serious shortage of labour for the rebuild of Christchurch.

They might also ask whether it’s the taxpayers’ role to get people onto the housing ladder – especially those on middle and upper incomes because there’s no mention of income or asset testing the people who would benefit from Labour’s largesse.

 

 


Penny Farthing

January 14, 2013

“Don’t think about it,” she said.

“Adventure is always better that way.

“It’s like riding a penny farthing. You enjoy it more if you don’t worry about getting on and getting off, just pedal hard and enjoy the ride.”


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