Ralph Hotere 1931 – 2013

February 24, 2013

Dunedin-based artist Ralph Hotere ONZ, has died.

The 81-year-old, who is regarded as one of New Zealand’s most important artists, was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand in 2011.

Governor-General Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae conferred the honour in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Sir Jerry said at the time that the award “speaks of service, merit, endeavour, perseverance, commitment, excellence and, above all, mana”. . .

Born in Northland and of Te Aupouri iwi descent, Hotere’s hometown of Mitimiti played a key role in his work.

He was based in Otago for a number of years.

The citation for Hotere’s Order of New Zealand said that as a painter, sculptor and collaborative artist, he had reacted to social and environmental issues through his work.

His art is dominated by black, both in colour and in the artworks’ titles, and makes extensive use of words, often quoting poets and his conversations with them.

He dealt with key New Zealand historical events such as the Springbok tour, the Rainbow Warrior sinking and the Aramoana massacre. . . 


Word of the day

February 24, 2013

Adventitious – added extrinsically; arising or occurring sporadically or in other than the usual location; not essentially inherent or innate; happening or carried on according to chance rather than design; coming from outside, imported, not native; accidental or acquired; not natural or hereditary; adventitial.


Things I’ve learned #1

February 24, 2013

Sun bleaches scorch marks out of carpet.

In a fit of domestic rearrangement the mat which had been in front of the fire found a new home beside a French door. It’s basked there in sunlight all summer and the scorch marks have faded away.

P.S.
I wasn’t responsible for the scorching nor even at home when it happened but I have grounds to suspect impatience during fire lighting and a bottle of maths meths were involved.


Family dairy farm wins BoP environment award

February 24, 2013

Tauranga dairy farmers Dennis, Judith and Gordon McFetridge have been named Supreme Winners of the 2013 Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).

The McFetridges, who farm two separate dairy units on Omanawa Road, just outside Tauranga, received the region’s top environmental prize at a BFEA ceremony on February 22, 2013.

BFEA judges described the family’s farming business as a well-rounded operation that is “meeting economic, social and environmental objectives”.

But 32 years ago it was a much different story. In 1981, one of the McFetridge farms was submerged under millions of tonnes of sludge after a canal on the Ruahihi power scheme collapsed. This was a devastating blow for Dennis and Judith and it has taken many years of hard work to rectify the damage.

They now run the operation with the help of their son Gordon, a Lincoln graduate, who returned to the farm after five years in the rural banking industry. He manages the farms, which are leased from the family trust, with the help of two full-time staff. Casual workers, including university students, are also employed when required.

McFetridge Farms Ltd milks 260 cows on the 70ha (effective) ‘Top Farm’ and 180 cows on 60ha effective ‘Lower Farm’.

The rolling to steep contour on Lower Farm is well suited to younger cows while the Top Farm, which has flat to rolling contour, is better suited to older cows (four years and older).

Judges said the properties are “aesthetically pleasing and highly productive” and the challenging topography has been wisely developed for dairy farming.

Difficult sidlings and gullies have been either left in native bush or planted in woodlots.

Both farms have extensive shelterbelts. Riparian plantings have been used to protect and enhance waterways. Areas of native bush have been fenced and now contain a diversity of species. An ongoing specimen tree planting programme is also in place.

BFEA judges were impressed with the McFetridges’ approach to farm management. Instead of increasing cow numbers they aim to run a lower stocking rate while lifting per cow production. This has been achieved through improved feeding, better grazing management and a strong focus on animal health.

About 8-10% of the farm is regrassed annually with improved pasture species. Poorer performing paddocks are successfully cropped with Turnips.

Judges also noted the McFetridges’ excellent financial control, well-kept herd records and sound relationships with staff.

They said the family’s experience and acquired skills in areas like rural banking and water management had been of great benefit to the farming operation.

The McFetridges demonstrate a good understanding of their soils. Their low stocking rate helps to sustain soils and pasture. Regular pasture walks are used to assist with grazing management and cropping decisions. Erosion issues have been addressed with assistance from the Regional Council.

Judges were also impressed with the family’s “very effective” effluent management system, which utilises pond storage, eco pumps and travelling irrigators.

The McFetridge family have farmed in the district for three generations. Dennis, a JP, and Judith have strong associations with the local community and farming organisations.

As well as winning the Supreme title, the McFetridges also collected the LIC Dairy Farm Award, the Massey University Discovery Award, the WaterForce Integrated Management Award and the Meridian Energy Excellence Award.

A BFEA field day will be held on their farm on March 26.

Other winners in the 2013 Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards were:

Supreme Winner, LIC Dairy Farm Award, Massey University Discovery Award, WaterForce Integrated Management Award and Meridian Energy Excellence Award: Dennis, Judith and Gordon McFetridge, McFetridge Farms Ltd.

Ballance Nutrient Management Award: Ian and Georgina Lawrence, Braewood Holdings Ltd and Snowhill Trust.

Beef+Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award: Landcorp Rotomahana, Matthew and Annabell Lane, Landcorp Farming Ltd.

Hill Laboratories Harvest Award and PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award: Ben and Heidi Rosewarne, Blueberry Corner.

Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award: Karl and Maggy Buhler, Pukemarama.

Zespri Kiwifruit Orchard Award: Jeff and Shirley Roderick, Kytui Orchards.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environmental Award 1: Jeremy and Sharon Cotter, Te Kominga.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environmental Award 2: Walter and Mary van Rossum, Exlo Jersey.

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are barely noticed outside farming circles.

But they are a wonderful showcase for best practice and the winners become mentors for others who aspire to emulate them.


Imagine the stink

February 24, 2013

Whanganui District Council has been battling a stench from its sewage treatment plant.

The solution on Friday was to pump raw sewage out to sea.

Imagine the stink if a dairy farmer did that.

I am not suggesting that dumping dairy effluent in the sea, or any other waterway, would be acceptable, just pointing out the double standard.

Farmers have been prosecuted for ponding of effluent which could enter a water way while councils get away with deliberately pumping raw sewage into rivers and the sea.


Sunday soapbox

February 24, 2013

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation.

You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

:) kindest, Boris


February 24 in history

February 24, 2013

303 – Galerius, Roman Emperor, published his edict that began the persecution of Christians in his portion of the Empire.

1387  King Charles III of Naples and Hungary was assassinated at Buda.

1538 Treaty of Nagyvarad between Ferdinand I and John Zápolya.

1582 Pope Gregory XIII announced the Gregorian calendar.

1607 – L’Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi, one of the first works recognised as an opera, premiered.

1711 The London première of Rinaldo by George Frideric Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London  stage.

1739 Battle of Karnal: The army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeated the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah.

1786 Wilhelm Grimm, German philologist and folklorist, was born (d. 1859).

1803 The Supreme Court of the United States, in Marbury v. Madison, established the principle of judicial review.

1804 London‘s Drury Lane Theatre burnt to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute.

1822 The 1st Swaminarayan temple in the world, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Ahmedabad, was inaugurated.

1826  The signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo marked the end of the First Burmese War.

1831 The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, was proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi ceded land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.

1839 William Otis received a patent for the steam shovel.

1848 King Louis-Philippe of France abdicated.

1868 The first parade to have floats was staged at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

1868 – Andrew Johnson became the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives.

1875 The SS Gothenburg hit the Great Barrier Reef and sank off the Australian east coast, killing approximately 100.

1877  Ettie Rout, New Zealand activist, was born  (d. 1936).

1893 The American University was chartered by an act of the Congress.

1895 Revolution broke out in Baire beginning the second war for Cuban independence.

1899 Western Washington University was established.

1902 The Battle of Langverwacht Hill ended.

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded.

1912: The hull of TSS Earnslaw was launched in Kingston.

The TSS <i>Earnslaw</i> hull cruises on Lake Wakatipu in 1912 on its way to Queenstown. The hull was launched 100 years ago today. Photo from Lakes District Museum.

1917 The U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom was given the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany pledged to ensure the return of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona to Mexico if Mexico declares war on the United States.

1918 – Estonian Declaration of Independence.

1920 The Nazi Party was founded.

1926  Jean Alexander, English actress, was born.

1942 Battle of Los Angeles: a UFO flying over Los Angeles caused a blackout order at 2:25 a.m. and attracted a barrage of anti-aircraft fire, ultimately killing 3 civilians.

1942 Paul Jones, English singer (Manfred Mann), was born.

1945 Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha was killed in Parliamen.

1948 Dennis Waterman, British actor, was born.

1968  The Tet Offensive was halted; South Vietnam recaptured Hué.

1970 National Public Radio was founded in the United States.

1976 Cuba’s national Constitution proclaimed.

1981 Buckingham Palace announcedthe engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

1981 – An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.

1989 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini offered a USD $3 million bounty for the death of The Satanic Verses’ author Salman Rushdie.

1989 – United Airlines Flight 811, bound for New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii, ripped open during flight, sucking 9 passengers out of the business-class section.

1999 – A China Southern Airlines Tupolev TU-154 airliner crashed on approach to Wenzhou airport killing 61.

2006 Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared Proclamation 1017 placing the country in a state of emergency in attempt to subdue a possible military coup.

2007 Japan launched its fourth spy satellite.

2008 Fidel Castro retired as the President of Cuba.

2010 – Sachin Tendulkar scored the first double century in One Day International cricket.

2011 – Final Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103).

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia and the ODT.


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