Word of the day

February 16, 2013

Satisfice-  decide on and pursue a course of action satisfying the minimum requirements to achieve a goal or particular result; to settle for enough, whether you’re satisfied or not; a decision-making strategy that aims for a satisfactory or adequate result, rather than the optimal solution.


Rural round-up

February 16, 2013

OSPRI New Zealand seeking to add value to primary sector:

The name of the new organisation being formed through the merger of the Animal Health Board (AHB) and NAIT has been announced.

Chairman of the board, Jeff Grant, told a Stakeholders’ Council meeting today that in line with its intention to provide operational solutions for New Zealand’s primary industries, the organisation would be called OSPRI New Zealand.

“I would like to think that in five years’ time we will have gained recognition for having one of the best biosecurity and pest management strategies anywhere in the world,” said Mr Grant after the meeting. . .

Purchase of unique North Otago reserve announced:

Critically endangered plants and a rare limestone ecosystem have been protected through the purchase of a 20 hectare reserve at Gards Road, near Duntroon in the Waitaki Valley, Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith announced today.

The purchase of the new scenic reserve, from David and Lorraine Parker’s farm, was completed through the Nature Heritage Fund and is the first of its kind in the region.

“In the past we have seen a greater focus on protecting the high country in this area through processes such as tenure review, so it is a credit to the Parkers that we have now secured the protection of this threatened lowland habitat,” Dr Smith says. . .

Improvement in Bay dairy farm compliance:

Bay of Plenty farmers are doing better in complying with Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s dairy farm effluent requirements – but they could improve.

This week’s Regional Council Operations, Monitoring and Regulation Committee meeting heard that 74 percent of the 297 farms visited during the dairy season were fully complying with their consent conditions, an improvement on last season’s 67 percent. Significant non-compliance, where effluent is overflowing to land where it could, or did, flow into a water course, dropped from 14 to 11 percent.

Regional Council Pollution Prevention Manager Nick Zaman said the number of significant non-complying farms was the lowest since the 2008-2009 season. . .

Crowds turn out for Southern Shears – Terri Russell:

About 100 people have braved Gore’s wet weather this morning to catch the start of the 2013 Southern Shears.

The event kicked-off at 9am with the open wooldhandling competitions. There are junior, senior and open heats, semi-finals and finals, as well as a North v South challenge.

Southern Shears chairman Chas Tohiariki said it was good to see such strong numbers in the lower grades, with fifteen entries in the junior heats.

Woolhandlers were judged on their workmanship on the board, sorting and quality of fleece, throws, tidiness and times, Mr Tohiariki said. . .

More products in UK store tainted by horse meat:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s British supermarket arm, Asda, said on Thursday it had discovered horse DNA in its beef bolognese sauce and was withdrawing that product and three others from its stores.”We have a preliminary test result that suggests the presence of horse DNA in our 500g Beef Bolognese sauce. As you’d expect, we have withdrawn this product from our shelves,”

Asda spokeswoman Jo Newbould said. Asda has about 550 shops across the UK.”We are taking a belt-and-braces approach so in addition, as a precaution, we’re also withdrawing three other beef-based products produced by the same supplier,” she said.The three other products are beef broth soup, meat feast pasta sauce and chilli con carne soup. Asda said it does not have positive test results for horse DNA in those products. It said the products were made at the Irish food group Greencore’s plant in Bristol. . .

Goats Chuffed, Not Gruff:

An agreement among various producer representatives to have equal representation on the Federated Farmers Goats Industry Group means the industry can look forward to a brighter future, says John Woodward, Mohair New Zealand (Inc.) chairman.

“Goat meat is the world’s most consumed meat and, with fewer calories, fat and cholesterol than chicken, is a very healthy option, but at present the New Zealand goat industries remain under rated and under utilised,” Woodward says.

“We expect that as a result of changes made at the Federated Farmers goats industry group conference held at Pukekohe earlier this week, this will start to change. . .


Saturday’s smiles

February 16, 2013

A man was driving along a rural road when he realised he had to make a phone call.

He had forgotten his cell phone was miles from a pay phone so he decided to stop in at the next farmhouse he found.

As he was approaching a house he noticed a three-legged chicken racing along the road. He followed the chicken and clocked it at  60 kilometres per hour.

When the man got to the farmhouse he asked the farmer about the chicken.

The farmer replied, “Well, when I was at university I studied genetics. ‘Round these parts we love chicken and we’re all partial to the drumstick, so I thought I’d see if I could make a three-legged chicken and I did.”

The man was impressed. He asked, “How does it taste?”

The farmer replied, “Don’t know. None of us been able to catch one yet.”


Time to count Kiwis

February 16, 2013

The delivery of census forms starts today.

New Zealand is gearing up for the largest government-run activity this year, the Census on March 5th.

 Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson says more than 7,000 census collectors will from tomorrow start delivering census forms to every home.

 “Included with forms is an internet access code for people to complete them online, which is a secure, quick and easy option.

 “The Government has set 10 Better Public Services results, including, New Zealanders can complete their transactions with the Government easily in a digital environment. The 2013 Census is an example of how we are doing that by making it easy for people to take part in this important event online.”

 Statistics New Zealand expects more than two million census forms will be completed online on Census day.

“If everyone in a household completes forms online then the census collector will receive a text saying they don’t have to return that address to collect them,” Mr Williamson says.

Official census collectors will be wearing a yellow identification badge and carrying a blue census bag.

The 0800 CENSUS helpline is also ready to take calls from the public.

The census is designed to count us all, but count us as what?

It’s entered the 21st century with the ability for people to complete the forms online.

But it’s still stuck in the 20th century with the options under ethnicity.

Ethnicity is defined as  a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality or citizenship. 

An ethnic group is made up of people who have some or all of the following characteristics:

  • a common proper name 
  • one or more elements of common culture which need not be specified, but may include religion, customs, or language
  • unique community of interests, feelings, and actions
  •  a shared sense of common origins or ancestry 
  • a common geographic origin.

But the options given are are New Zealand European, Maori, Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Tongan, Niuean, Chinese, Indian, Other such as Dutch, Japanese, Tokelauan.

This suggests that people of Maori, Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Tongan, Niuean, Chinese, Indian and all sorts of other descent aren’t ethnic New Zealanders  which is divisive and does not reflect our multicultural society.

If it’s  ethnicity not race they’re measuring, why are the only people who count as Kiwis, European New Zealanders or those who choose New Zealander in the other category.

It is high time our statistics moved into the 21st century and gave New Zealander as a proper option rather than an afterthought.

If enough of us choose that option it might force a change for the next census.


Glammies finalists

February 16, 2013

Finalists in the 2013 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies, have been announced.

From 180 entries, the top 20 have been established after tenderness and yield testing at Carne Technologies.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand CEO, Dr Scott Champion, says the competition, sponsored by Zoetis, has been closer than ever this year.

“The Glammies is a great showcase of what New Zealand farmers do best – produce tender and tasty lamb.

“The Glammies is keenly contested by farmers and there are a number of familiar names who’ve again made it to the final, alongside some newcomers,” says Champion.

The finalists for 2013 are:

Class 1: Best of Breed – Traditional

  • Doug Brown, Oamaru (Romney) processed at Alliance Smithfield
  • Annie Carmichael, Matiere (Romney) processed at Taylor Preston
  • Colin Lockhart, Lawrence (Romney) processed at Alliance Lorneville
  • Ken McRae, Lawrence (Romney) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand

 Class 2: Best of Breed – Crossbreed

  • William Oliver, Te Kuiti (Romney/Lamb Supreme) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • Nick Perry, Woodville (Romney/Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • Andy Philps, Masterton (Romney / Suffolk/Texel) processed at Cabernet Foods/Kintyre Meats Ltd
  • David Sangster, Ranfurly (Romdale/Textra) processed at Alliance Lorneville

 Class 3: Best of Breed – Terminal X

  • Craig Crawshaw, Waverley (Romney Lamb Supreme X/Lamb Supreme) processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitotara
  • L & J Gerrard, Winton (Coopworth/Texel / Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitane
  • Donald & Liz Polson, Wanganui (Highlander/Primera) processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitotara
  • David Sangster, Ranfurly (Texel X/Texel) processed at Alliance Lorneville

 Class 4: Best of Breed – Open

  • James & Liane Crutchley, Palmerston (NZ Texel/Romney / South Dorset Down) processed at Lean Meats, Oamaru
  • William Oliver, Te Kuiti (Romney/Lamb Supreme) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • Patrick Sherriff, Gisborne (Composite) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • Matt Wyeth, Masterton (Highlander/Primera) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau

 Class 5: Retail

  • Athol Valley Meats, Southland (Coopworth/Romney / Texel)
  • Black Rock Butchery (Nosh Food Market), Auckland (Primera)
  • Greytown Butchery, Greytown (Wairarapa Texel)
  • Progressive Enterprises (Countdown), North Island (Poll Dorset/Suffolk)

 

The next step for the finalists is the Grand Final taste test which will be held at the Upper Clutha A & P Show in Wanaka on 8 March.

The competition is supported by processing plants across the country. These include: AFFCO, Alliance Group Ltd, Ashburton Meat Processors Ltd, Auckland Meat Processors/Wilson Hellaby, Blue Sky Meats, Cabernet Foods/Kintyre Meats, Harris Meats, Land Meat NZ, Lean Meats, Silver Fern Farms and Taylor Preston. 

The programme for the Glammies is here.


How many signatures

February 16, 2013

In January the people organising a petition opposing the partial sale of a few state assets said they had enough signatures.

Grey Power national president Roy Reid said the group had collected more than 340,000 signatures, allowing for a percentage of signatures that did not meet the requirements under the Citizen Initiated Referendum Act.

But this was on Facebook yesterday:

Sign on for the Sign-a-thon

                  signathon.org.nz

Just 22,000 more signatures are needed for a referendum on asset sales. Help collect signatures on 16-17 February!
Did Grey Power miscount or did a check find too many of the signatures didn’t meet the legal requirements to be counted?

NZ First pledges to kill insurance industry

February 16, 2013

New Zealand First has pledged to give full compensation to Christchurch landowners:

All Christchurch uninsured red-zoned land owners who accept the current Government’s 50 per cent compensation offer will get the other half should New Zealand First become part of the next coalition Government.

Ensuring these landowners are treated fairly and receive the full rateable value of the land will be a bottom line in any coalition negotiations. . .

The party obviously doesn’t understand that what it regards as treating these landowners fairly would be treating insurance companies, their staff and shareholders, and taxpayers most unfairly.

This would kill the insurance industry because no-one would bother insuring their properties if they knew the government would pick up the pieces after a disaster.

This policy passes all the risk and costs from private property owners and insurance companies to the government which means taxpayers.


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