Word of the day

May 31, 2013

Temerarious – recklessly or presumptuously daring; rash; marked by temerity.


Rural round-up

May 31, 2013

Businesses making it big in China honoured at Awards night:

Milk products manufacturer Synlait Milk Ltd, based in Rakaia 50km inland from Christchurch, has won the supreme award at the HSBC NZCTA China Business Awards 2013 – announced at a special event in Auckland tonight.

Synlait is an innovative dairy processing company that makes milk products such as nutraceuticals, infant formulations and a dairy milk-based formula to meet the nutritional needs of breastfeeding women, and colostrum products.

Bright Dairy of China became a significant partner and shareholder in 2010, and construction began on the largest and most sophisticated purpose built infant formula facility in the Southern Hemisphere – in Canterbury.

The Supreme Award was decided from all categories listed below, of which Synlait also won the DLA Phillips Fox – Successful Investment with China, Inward or Outward Award. This award is for an organisation that demonstrates innovative and successful NZ/China cross-border investment – inward or outward. . .

Move to create new integrated fibre industry body:

Moves are afoot to form an integrated fibre industry body that would knit together wool and other fibre producers, with processors, textile manufacturers and exporters.

The Fibrenz initiative comes from Textiles New Zealand which has been holding discussions with representatives from other fibre groups, encompassing natural products as well as synthetics.

It’s taking that further on Friday with a meeting in Wellington, where it’s looking for a commitment to establish Fibrenz as the administrator and communicator for the New Zealand fibre sector. . .

Southland-style rules come to Marlborough:

Federated Farmers is concerned Marlborough District Council has notified two plan changes, which will require resource consent to establish new dairy farms in the district.

“While existing dairy farms or those expanding without need for the addition of a milking shed aren’t affected, future dairy conversions will be,” says Gary Barnett, Federated Farmers Marlborough provincial president.

“Most of Marlborough is too hilly for dairying or is in vineyards. There is no issue with dairy conversions in Marlborough or anywhere else in the top of the South Island. . .

Meat shipments now moving into China:

Containers of New Zealand meat are now moving off the wharves and into the Chinese market, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has confirmed today.

“I’ve spoken to meat companies this morning who have confirmed that the first shipments have been collected from the wharf. It’s positive news that the backlog has now begun clearing.

“AQSIQ are now progressively working their way through the remaining reissued certificates as a priority.

“Ports are being authorised to release these further consignments, so it is now up to importers and agents to begin collecting their shipments. . .

Westland Milk follows Fonterra in raising payout forecast on upbeat outlook:

Westland Milk Products, the Hokitika-based dairy cooperative, has raised its payout forecast for the 2014 season on expectations prices will be underpinned by strong demand and a global shortage of milk.

Westland forecast a 2014 payment to farmers of $6.60 to $7 per kilogram of milk solids, up between 60 cents and 70 cents from what it expects to pay this season of $6 to $6.30 per kgMS.

“The market is showing signs of supply constraints and higher than average prices are expected throughout next season,” chief executive Rod Quin said in a statement. “With the market particularly volatile as a result of the drought, we expect prices to be higher at the start of the season and remain relatively high throughout.” . .

Whatever Fonterra Can Do, Westland Can Do Too

Federated Farmers West Coast is delighted that Westland Milk Products is going toe-to-toe with its larger cooperative sibling, Fonterra, with a bullish forecast for the 2013/14 season.

“The news from Westland is just what the doctor, or should I say, accountant ordered,” says Richard Reynolds, Federated Farmers West Coast Dairy chairperson.

“First up we’ve got reconfirmation of this (2012/13) season’s payout before retentions of between $6 and $6.30 per kilogram of milksolids (kg/MS). 

“Yet Coasters are also saying whatever Fonterra can do, Westland can do too.  You don’t need to be in Auckland to be an innovative international exporter of quality dairy products. . .

Federated Farmers’ Hauraki-Coromandel’s ‘Man-U’ Renewal:

Federated Farmers Hauraki-Coromandel is full of praise for John Sanford, who has retired as provincial president after serving the province’s farmers since 2000.  His successor, Kevin Robinson, is also the vice“chair of Federated Farmers Dairy Industry Group.

“John is a farming legend in these parts having been on Federated Farmers’ National Council for some 21-years, says Kevin Robinson, Federated Farmers Hauraki-Coromandel provincial president.

“John has helped us navigate storms and drought. His institutional knowledge is second to none, especially on issues from council policy to biodiversity. In 13-years as provincial president, John has seen many things come and go but at least I can still call him up. . .

Landmark winery and hospitality business in receivership sale:

A pioneering winery and hospitality venue which went on to become one of New Zealand’s most award-winning wine and food businesses is on the market for sale by receivers.

Ascension Wine Estate at Matakana just north of Auckland was established in 1996 by husband and wife team Darryl and Bridget Soljan. Ascension was one of the earlier wineries planted in the valley – gateway to the upmarket coastal seaside resorts of Omaha and Leigh – and went onto become the biggest hospitality operator in the region. . .


Oamaru On Fire

May 31, 2013

Oamaru On Fire will take place in the town’s historic precinct this evening.

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Oamaru “On Fire” will be held from 6.30pm-9pm, featuring an evening of non-stop fire-themed family entertainment produced by professionals, for the whole family.

It will also feature live performances from local and international acts from around New Zealand.

Featuring lighting displays, smoke effects, controlled explosions, projected images and films.

The lighting show would be followed by performances by fire eaters, fire jugglers, amazing belly dancers and a masquerade march from local international artist Donna Demente, and include traction engines, motorbikes and hot rods plus demonstrations from the NZ fire service including the command unit.

It is something a bit different. It will showcase our town’s outstanding Victorian architecture to locals and visitors, Oamaru ‘On Fire’ is an idea that has just exploded into a major event, which in its first year was incredibly successful with over 3,400 people enjoying the evening.

It will be sensory overload and  STILL at just $5 per head represents excellent value for money.

Yes, it’s winter, it will be cold, but it will be warming from the atmosphere created, the outstanding entertainment on offer and the food. . .

The town is also hosting a Steampunk Festival.

In honour of the festival Birdlands wine have produced some steam plonk – a Piston Noir.

Thank you Birdlands for producing a fun Steampunk label!

Our grapes are sourced int he sund renched valleys of the mighty Waitaki river – “Where the scent of wild roses turns the milk to cream” – and they are transported by imaginary dirigible to the alluring, steamy atmosphere of the Birdlands winery.

The fruit is trampled by long-legged bronze goddesses to help impart the unique, smooth lip caressing texture.

The wine is subjects to a raging ferment and put through the harmonic frequency regulator to barrel for 16 months. Upon bottling it is corked immediately to seal this unique time capsule of potent suggestivity; or open to release the aromatic, full bodied, dusky piston noir.


On the run in Tiger Gully

May 31, 2013

The ODT reports that police have nabbed three fugitives after a high speed car chase.

What they’re not reporting is:

Police put spikes out but the fugitives turned off the main road before they got that far.

The road they chose is a no-exit one which leads to our property.

They kept going when they got to the boundary and went through several closed gates.

Farm tracks aren’t designed for high speed and they eventually came to a stop.

Police arrested three people but the fourth is at large in Tiger Gully.

It’s called that for good reason, it’s covered in thick bush and is home to wild pigs.

No-one with any sense would spend much time there on a cold winter day unless they were well prepared.

Meanwhile our manager and tractor driver who were on the farm when police arrived, were told to get off the property and aren’t allowed back until the fugitive is caught.


Friday’s answers

May 31, 2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.?

2. What are the last two lines of this verse: Some hae meat and cannae eat/Some would eat that want it

3. It’s faim in French, fame in Italian, hambre in Spanish and matekaitanga in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is the matter with Mary Jane in A.A. Milne’s poem:

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She’s crying with all her might and main,
And she won’t eat her dinner—. . . . . . . .—
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

5. What’s the best way to tackle the problem of hungry children?

Points for answers - accepting that #5 was a matter of opinion rather than fact and therefore any answer counted):

Andrei got four and a bonus 1/2 for naming the poet although I didn’t ask for it and while the Selkirk Grace is attributed to Burns there are earlier references to it.

Tiffany got 2.

PDM also got 2.

Freddie got a bonus for wit.

Grant got four and a half for knowing it was pudding to which Mary Jane objected which wins an electronic batch of pikelets.

Armchair Critic got one.

And Tracy got one with a bonus for reasoning.

Read the rest of this entry »


Lazy copy

May 31, 2013

Inflammatory statements make good copy but it’s also lazy copy.

Winston Peters is a master at making the comments which the media happily report.

The headlines appeal to the deluded who support him but are rarely supported by facts.

It’s the media’s jobs to dig for the facts, or at very least challenge Peters to front up with them.

He is hiding behind parliamentary privilege with his accusations that Peter Dunne leaked the GCSB report.

As Jock Anderson says (behind the pay wall at the NBR) :

Speaking freely does not mean making any old allegation without the support of facts . . .

Mr Peters does not have the guts to repeat his allegation outside parliament because he is afraid Mr Dunne might sue him for defamation.

This suggests Mr Peters knows his allegation is not true.

That is bad enough. But Anderson points out that voters should be even more concerned that MMP could allow Peters to have considerable sway in the next government.

That doesn’t say much for those who support him but it might help them think again if the media went beyond the easy copy to find the facts.


Right direction

May 31, 2013

Finance Minister Bill English compares the economy to a supertanker.

You can’t tack and change direction quickly as you might in a small yacht. But small changes over time van make a big difference and those differences are beginning to show we’re moving in the right direction.

right direction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wacky, extreme, unusual

May 31, 2013

Question of the day:

Hon Steven Joyce: Has he considered getting a really big colour photocopier and printing off enough money to pay off New Zealand’s international liabilities, on behalf of all New Zealanders, sometime next week?

Mr SPEAKER: I do not think that is a helpful question, but if the Minister wishes to answer it the Minister can.

Hon BILL ENGLISH: We have been advised to consider it, but I understand that the whole supply of them has been bought up by the Green Party, in anticipation of its opportunity.

I wonder where the advice came from?

It certainly wasn’t the Prime Minister who considers LabourGreen policies wacky, extreme and unusual.

That’s a view with which a majority of voters have sympathy:

When asked who they would trust more to run the economy, 55 percent of respondents preferred a National-led government with John Key and Bill English.

A Labour-Greens government with Mr Shearer and Dr Norman had the support of 37 percent of respondents.

Eighteen percent of Labour voters trusted National more, as did 19 percent of Green voters.

Nearly a fifth of their own supporters trust National more – that’s hardly a ringing endorsement of their own policies.

May 31 in history

May 31, 2013

1279 BC – Rameses II (The Great) (19th dynasty) became pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

526  A an earthquke in Antioch, Turkey, killed 250,000.

1223 Mongol invasion of the Cumans: Battle of the Kalka River – Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeated Kievan Rus and Cumans.

1578  Martin Frobisher sailed from Harwich,  to Frobisher Bay, Canada, eventually to mine fool’s gold, used to pave streets in London.

1669   Samuel Pepys recorded the last event in his diary.

1678  The Godiva procession through Coventry began.

1759  The Province of Pennsylvania banned all theatre productions.

1775  American Revolution: The Mecklenburg Resolutions adopted in the Province of North Carolina.

1790 Alferez Manuel Quimper explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

1790 – The United States enacted its first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790.

1813  Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, reached Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains.

1819 Walt Whitman, American poet, was born (d. 1892).

1859  The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, started keeping time.

1862  American Civil War Peninsula Campaign: Battle of Seven Pines or (Battle of Fair Oaks) – Confederate forces under Joseph E. Johnston & G. W. Smith engaged Union forces under George B. McClellan outside Richmond, Virginia.

1864 American Civil War Overland Campaign: Battle of Cold Harbor – The Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee engaged the Army of the Potomac under Ulysses S. Grant & George G. Meade.

1866  In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O’Neill led 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara Riveras part of an effort to  free Ireland from the English.

1872 Heath Robinson, English cartoonist, was born (d. 1944).

1884 Arrival at Plymouth of Tawhiao,  Maori king, to claim protection of Queen Victoria.

TawhiaoNLA.jpg

1889 – Johnstown Flood: Over 2,200 people died after a dam break sent a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

1898 Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, American clergyman, was born (d. 1993).

1902 The Treaty of Vereeniging ended the second Boer War war and ensured British control of South Africa.

1910 Creation of the Union of South Africa.

1911  The ocean liner R.M.S. Titanic was launched.

1916  World War I: Battle of Jutland – The British Grand Fleet under the command of Sir John Jellicoe & Sir David Beatty engaged the Kaiserliche Marine under the command of Reinhard Scheer & Franz von Hipper in the largest naval battle of the war, which proved indecisive.

1921 Tulsa Race Riot: A civil unrest in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the official death toll was 39, but recent investigations suggest the actual toll was much higher.

1923 Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, was born (d. 2005).

1924  The Soviet Union signed an agreement with the Peking government, referring to Outer Mongolia as an “integral part of the Republic of China”, whose “sovereignty” therein the Soviet Union promised to respect.

1927  The last Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles.

1930 Clint Eastwood, American film director and actor, was born.

1935  A 7.7 Mw earthquake destroyed Quetta, Pakistan,: 40,000 dead.

1935 Jim Bolger, 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born.

1938 Peter Yarrow, American folk singer (Peter, Paul and Mary), was born.

1939 Terry Waite, British humanitarian, was born.

1941  A Luftwaffe air raid in Dublin claimed 38 lives.

1942 World War II: Imperial Japanese Navy midget submarines began a series of attacks on Sydney.

1943  Zoot Suit Riots began.

1961 Republic of South Africa created.

1962 The West Indies Federation dissolved.

1962  Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel.

1965 Brooke Shields, American actress and supermodel, was born.

1967 Phil Keoghan, New Zealand-born US televison personality, was born.

1970  The Ancash earthquake caused a landslide that buried the town of Yungay, Peru; more than 47,000 people were killed.

1971  In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30.

1973  The United States Senate voted to cut off funding for the bombing of Khmer Rouge targets within Cambodia, hastening the end of the Cambodian Civil War.

1975 Mona Blades, an 18 year-old htich hiker disappeared, after last being seen in an orange Datsun.

Mona Blades vanishes

1977  The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System completed.

1981  Burning of Jaffna library, Sri Lanka.

1985 Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead.

1989 – A group of six members of the guerrilla group Revolutionary Movement Tupac Amaru (MRTA) of Peru, shot dead eight transsexuals, in the city of Tarapoto

1991 – Bicesse Accords in Angola laid out a transition to multi-party democracy under the supervision of the United Nations’ UNAVEM II mission.

2005 – Vanity Fair revealed that Mark Felt was Deep Throat

2010 – In international waters, armed Shayetet 13 commandos, intending to force the flotilla to anchor at the Ashdod port, boarded ships trying to break the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, resulting in 9 civilian deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

May 30, 2013

Sumpsimus – a correct expression that replaces a popular but incorrect one; adherence to or persistence in using a strictly correct term; holding to a precise practice, etc., as a rejection of an erroneous but more common form; a person who is obstinate or zealous about such strict correctness.


Rural round-up

May 30, 2013

Dairy development helping environment - Gerald Piddock:

A controversial dairying development near Omarama is leading the way with its environmental practices.

It is still early days but the structure, fertility, health and depth of Little Ben dairy farm’s soil has significantly improved over the past three years.

Farmers saw the progress the farm had made at a field day last week.

The 470ha farm operates as a partnership between Richard Gloag and Merv McCabe. . . .

PGG Wrightson managing director to step down in August – Tina Morrison:

PGG Wrightson managing director George Gould will step down from New Zealand’s biggest rural technology and services firm after helping refocus the company.

Mr Gould previously headed Pyne Gould Guinness and was appointed to the top job at the larger company in February 2011 to help stabilise it as it exited non-core activities.

He will leave on August 31, the Christchurch-based company says in a statement today. . .

Merino man shakes up primary industries -

In 1995, John Brakenridge had an acute case of ‘new guy’. 

He’d been hired by the board of Canterbury-based wool marketer New Zealand Merino to breathe fresh air into a stale sector.

But the high country heartlanders were wary.

‘Which part of the South Island are you from?’ they asked the bloke who grew up in Auckland. ‘You look a bit young, don’t you?’ they said to the 34-year-old. ‘How long have you been in the wool industry?’ It was his first day.

Although he had a track record in the primary sector, serving as marketing manager for produce company Cedenco Foods in the late 1980s and partnering with the New Zealand Dairy Board in the Middle East, he was unmistakably a wool industry outsider.  . .

So close on second go - Jill Galloway:

Cam Brown says he will always be known as the guy who was second in the grand final of the Young Farmer Contest.

He was one of seven regional winners who won a place in the final. He was the winner of the Manawatu-Taranaki final.

Brown is competitive. He likes to do everything correctly and win.

“I lost by five points. I thought afterwards about places I could have made up those points. But I knew I’d given it my best shot in the contest.” . . .

Westland Milk Products Predicts Lifts Payout Prediction for 2013-14:

Westland Milk Products has announced a pay-out prediction for the 2013-14 season of $6.60 to $7 per kilo of milk solids (kgMS), an increase of 60 to 70 cents on the current season, with an opening advance (payable 20 September) of $4.80 per kgMS for all milk collected from 1 August 2013.

The Hokitika-based dairy cooperative also confirmed the forecast pay-out for this season of $6 to $6.30 per kgMS excluding retentions. The advance rate payable 20 June 2013 has been approved at $5.20 per kgMS.

Chief Executive Rod Quin says the forward view for the dairy market is relatively strong, even with the recent decline from the highs of six weeks ago. The strong outlook is being driven by ongoing firm demand and the expected shortfall of milk supply from key exporting markets. . .

Dairy farmers welcome some good news at last:

After a harsh drought and massive feed costs, dairy farmers needed good news and Fonterra Cooperative Group may have just delivered it.

“The forecast farmgate milk price of $7 per kilogram of milksolids (kg/MS) for 2013/14 is going to get a lot of attention,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“Boy oh boy did we need some morale raising good news. In plain-English, it means that farmers could get about 0.58 cents per litre for milk they will produce between June and May 2014.

“While a $7 kg/MS milkprice forecast sounds amazing, the public deserve to know this is forecast revenue and revenue is not profit. To get to profit, you need to take off the farm’s working expenses, tax obligations and pay back the bank manager; a big expense being right there. . .

Aggressive forecast Farmgate Milk Price, advance welcomed by Farmers:

Fonterra Shareholders’ Council Chairman, Ian Brown, said it was encouraging for Farmers to see Fonterra take an aggressive stance in its Milk Price forecasting for next season.

The Fonterra Board of Directors today announced an opening Farmgate Milk Price forecast of $7.00 per kg/MS for the 2013/14 season, including a $5.00 advance.

Ian Brown: “This is great news for our Farmer Shareholders and reinforces the good position our Co-operative is in.

“Having a strong forecast Milk Price and advance puts Farmers in a healthier position and provides them greater flexibility in running their farms. . .

Great food starts with great soil:

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is showcasing the connection between great soil and premium produce, with quality producers of beef, vegetables, apples and wine featuring at their Fieldays site this year.

Ballance General Manager Sales, Andrew Reid, explains that soil is an integral part of the success of our farmers.

“In fact the whole New Zealand economy starts with those three inches of topsoil which support our rural production sector,” says Mr Reid.

Mr Reid says that premium producers have one thing in common – respect for the soil and the ability to work with it. . . .


Thursday’s quiz

May 30, 2013

1. Who said: Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.?

2. What are the last two lines of this verse: Some hae meat and cannae eat/Some would eat that want it

3. It’s faim in French, fame in Italian, hambre in Spanish and matekaitanga in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is the matter with Mary Jane in A.A. Milne’s poem:

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She’s crying with all her might and main,
And she won’t eat her dinner—. . . . . . . .—
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

5. What’s the best way to tackle the problem of hungry children?


Environmental tax based on perception

May 30, 2013

Federated Farmers says Environment Southland’s plan to increase the differential rate on dairy land use makes no sense:

“It is our view that you are simply imposing an environmental tax on one land use in Southland based entirely on perception,” said Russell McPherson, Southland provincial president.

“Dairy farms comprise only 3.6 percent of the total number of rating units yet, if this proposal goes ahead, will be paying 41 percent of the property value based general rates.

“In total, the dairy sector is already paying their fair share for what are Environment Southland’s public good resource management responsibilities, but it is specifically and solely targeted through the differential as if it was failing to meet its obligations. That could not be further from the truth.

“Taken at face value the dairy differential indicates that if there was no dairying in the region then there would be no water quality issues. Clearly, this is not the case. Nor is it the case that the dairy sector is the only sector which needs to do better to address water quality.

Dairying can lead to a deterioration in water quality but it doesn’t always and it certainly isn’t the only culprit.

“If the differential is nothing about recognising the costs attributed to ES work and a blatant environmental tax then the differential does not recognise or incentivise individual farmer behaviour. It is like handing a speeding ticket to every driver just for getting in the car. It is simply a tax for being a dairy farmer.

A general tax punishes those farmers who are doing all they can to protect waterways and gives no incentive for anyone else to do any better.

“If you are trying to put dairying in Southland on the back foot and alienate farmers then you are on the right track. You will not engage at a farm level with dairy farmers during any response to the NPS for freshwater by telling them they have to pay you to tell them what to do.

“The dairy differential detracts from the goodwill felt towards council from the very dairy farmers council should be supporting – the dairy farmers who are doing things the right way and leading environmental on farm best practice though massive investment and innovation.

“Council’s decision on whether or not to increase the costs allocated to the dairy sector through the dairy differential this year is actually a decision on how it perceives the sector and how water quality issues in Southland will be addressed.

“If the intention is to develop a partnership approach to identifying the mechanisms to best address resource management issues, then the dairy differential is a bad idea.

“If the intention is to recognise and incentivise good practice, then the dairy differential is a bad idea.

“If the intention is to require all sectors of the community to do a better job of resource management then the dairy differential, is a bad idea.

“If the differential is an attempt to identify a scapegoat, distance this council from a key sector in the region and absolve all other resource management users from responsibility, then the dairy differential is a good step,” Mr McPherson concluded.

The council should be developing policies which improve water quality and incentivise good practice.

Increasing the dairy differential isn’t the way to do it.


Winston’s ill-wind, does Dunne good

May 30, 2013

A rant against immigrants, and Chinese ones in particular, is vintage Winston Peters.

But he must have decided that didn’t get him enough publicity.

What else could explain his bizarre accusation that Peter Dunne leaked the report into the GCSB?

It was done under parliamentary privilege which protects the accuser from legal action. It doesn’t protect him from derision, though.

If he was going to make a mad accusation he should have chosen someone who wasn’t on most people’s list of politicians least likely to leak.

Dunne would have nothing to gain and lots to lose, by leaking like that.

But it’s an ill-wind which blows nobody good and Winston’s ill-wind has done some good for Dunne, if only because the accusation has given him some much needed publicity.


Imagination

May 30, 2013

“I love the idea that imagination is stronger than knowledge,” he said.

“As long as the imagining doesn’t get in the way of knowing when knowing really matters,” she said.


May 30 in history

May 30, 2013

70 Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breached the Second Wall of Jerusalem. The Jewish defenders retreated to the First Wall. The Romans built a circumvallation, all trees within fifteen kilometres were cut down.

1416 The Council of Constance, called by the Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burned Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.

1431  Hundred Years’ War: 19-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. Because of this the Catholic Church remember this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.

1434  Hussite Wars (Bohemian Wars): Battle of Lipany – effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeated and almost annihilated Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.

1536  Henry VIII of England married Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.

1539 Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay, Florida,  with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.

1574  Henry III became King of France.

1588 The last ship of the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.

1635  Thirty Years’ War: the Peace of Prague (1635) was signed.

1642  From this date all honours granted by Charles I were retrospectively annulled by Parliament.

1757 Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1844).

1806 Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.

1814 Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition – the Treaty of Paris (1814) was signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent.

1832  The Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario opened.

1842  John Francis attempted to murder Queen Victoria as she drove down Constitution Hill with Prince Albert.

1846 Peter Carl Fabergé, Russian goldsmith and jeweller, was born (d. 1920).

1854 The Kansas-Nebraska Act became law establishing the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

1859 Westminster’s Big Ben rang for the first time in London.

1868  Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day) was observed in the United States for the first time (By “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic” John A. Logan‘s proclamation on May 5).

1871  The Paris Commune fell.

1876  Ottoman sultan Abd-ul-Aziz was deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murat V.

1879 New York City’s Gilmores Garden was renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.

1883  A rumour that the Brooklyn Bridge was going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people.

1911  At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ended with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.

1913  First Balkan War: the Treaty of London, 1913 is signed ending the war. Albania becomes an independent nation.

1914  The new and then largest Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, set sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England to New York City.

1815  The East Indiaman ship Arniston was wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, the loss of 372 lives.

1901 – A 10-man Royal Commission reported unanimously that New Zealand should not become a state of the Commonwealth of Australia.

1917  Alexander I became king of Greece.

1922  In Washington, D.C. the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated.

1941  World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb on the Athenian Acropolis, tear down the Nazi swastika and replace it with the Greek flag.

1942  World War II: 1000 British bombers launched a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.

1948  A dike along the flooding Columbia River broke, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.

1955 Topper Headon, British musician (The Clash), was born.

1958  Memorial Day: the remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, were buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

1959  The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour was officially opened by Governor-General Lord Cobham.

Auckland harbour bridge opened

1961  Long time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo was assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

1962 Kevin Eastman, American comic book creator (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), was born.

1963  A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis was held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.

1966 Former Congolese Prime Minister Evariste Kimba and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.

1967 Daredevil Evel Knievel jumped his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row.

1967  The Nigerian Eastern Region declared independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.

1971 Mariner 9 was launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.

1972 The Angry Brigade went on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout Britain.

1972  In Tel Aviv members of the Japanese Red Army carried out the Lod Airport Massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.

1989  Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: the 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue was unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.

1998  A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.

2002– 272 days after the September 11 attacks, closing ceremonies were held for the clean up/recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site in New York City.

2003 – Depayin massacre: at least 70 people associated with the National League for Democracy were killed by government-sponsored mob in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene, but was arrested soon afterwards.

2012 – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

May 29, 2013

Mumpsimus - adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy;  a traditional custom or notion adhered to although shown to be unreasonable; someone person who obstinately adheres to such a custom or notion; an ignorant and bigoted opponent of reform.


Rural round-up

May 29, 2013

Farms’ history recognised - Helena de Reus:

Long-term farmers were praised for their resilience and hard work, at the New Zealand Century Farm and Station Awards in Lawrence on Saturday.

Guest speaker Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said his dairy farm at Levin had been in the family for 80 years, and he hoped to return to Lawrence in 20 years to receive a century farm award.

”Our country isn’t that old, and history is important. Tonight is an opportunity to look back at our pioneer farmers.”

The resilience of farming communities and family was on display at the awards, he said. . .

Federated Farmers’ youngest provincial president elected this year:

Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay has elected 36-year old Will Foley as its new Hawke’s Bay provincial president, replacing Bruce Wills, who will now focus on his role as National President. Will Foley is the youngest provincial president elected in Federated Farmers’ class of 2013.

“I must pay tribute to Bruce Wills, who has positively led Federated Farmers in the Hawke’s Bay,” says Will Foley, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay provincial president.

“I guess my election means Bruce will be able to focus on his national role. After being elected Bruce quipped about me, “he is about half my age and with a lot more hair”.

“As a sheep and beef farmer in Waipukurau, you can say I have a strong interest in water given the effect of the current drought has had upon us. . .

It’s time to move – James Houghton:

They say moving house is one of life’s most stressful events, but for sharemilkers it can be an annual occurrence. Not only do they pack up their homes; they move hundreds of animals and farm equipment.

May 31 and/or June 1 are often called “Gypsy Day”, but actually, it is a chaotic week as moving sharemilkers get everything ready to go to a new farm, which could be down the road or in a different part of the country.

Anyone on the move this weekend needs to keep in mind the need to keep stock off greenfeed before transporting to lessen the chance of spilling effluent on the roads, a potential hazard for other motorists and environmental pollutant. . .

Ballance Agri-Nutrients to sponsor Dairy Women’s Network:

Fertiliser company Ballance Agri-Nutrients has confirmed it will be the new prime sponsor of the Dairy Women’s Network from 1 June 2013. The new partnership will significantly boost the Network’s ability to provide more opportunities for dairy farming women to improve their skills and leadership in the business of dairying.

Ballance general manager agro-science and marketing, Liz Muller, said that in farm ownership and partnerships, women are involved in many of the key business decisions.

“It is often women who take the lead role in areas such as farm finances, staff management, animal welfare, safety and on-farm compliance, yet they are under-represented on farmer co-operative boards of directors and industry agencies. Ballance is taking an active role in helping dairying women develop their leadership skills by supporting organisations such as the Dairy Women’s Network, which is focused on developing female leaders. We want to see more women in influential roles contributing to the success and direction of the industry.” . . .

Launch of Seafood New Zealand at Parliament:

New Zealand’s seafood industry body, Seafood New Zealand, will be officially launched at a function, hosted by the Minister for Primary Industries, at Parliament tonight.

“Seafood New Zealand was set up late last year to be more responsive to market and industry changes, following significant consultation with wider industry,” says Eric Barratt, Chair of Seafood New Zealand.

“Less than ten years ago our main export market was the US. Today the focus is on China and north Asian markets that are growing much faster, with the other markets relatively stable. . . .

Children’s Honey From NZ Becoming a Global Success Story:

New Zealand’s oldest honey brand says parents across the world are recognising the health and quality benefits of feeding New Zealand honey to their children.

According to Airborne Honey, New Zealand’s oldest and most trusted honey brand, and one of the country’s largest honey exporters, children’s honey products are becoming increasingly popular both in New Zealand and further afield.

John Smart, Airborne Honey Sales and Marketing Manager, explains that this is largely due to improved education around the health benefits of honey, as well as international confidence in the safety and quality of honey produced in New Zealand. . .


We can get $7

May 29, 2013

Fonterra has announced an opening forecast Farmgate Milk Price of $7.00 per kgMS for the 2013/14 season – up $1.20 on the current season.

In addition, the Co-operative confirmed a higher Advance Rate schedule, with an opening rate of $5.00 per kgMS, reflecting the higher forecast Farmgate Milk Price for 2013/14.

This payout with a relatively high dollar reflects an expectation that the demand for milk will hold up.

The Board will announce its forecast Cash Payout – which comprises the Forecast Farmgate Milk Price and dividend for the 2013/14 season – in July when Fonterra’s budget is completed and approved.

Chairman John Wilson said the higher forecast Milk Price for the new season reflected continuing strong international prices for dairy.

“The general consensus is that dairy commodity prices have peaked but will continue at or near current levels until the fourth quarter of 2013. Most external forecasts point to prices remaining relatively strong through 2014.”

Commenting on the Advance Rate increase Mr Wilson said: “A stronger forecast Farmgate Milk Price, supported by our improving cash flows and strong balance sheet, means we are able to lift the Advance Rate for the new season to ensure farmers receive higher payments for their milk early in the season.

“A large proportion of our farmer shareholders have experienced drought conditions, which have had a significant impact on feed costs and production, resulting in early drying off of their herds.

A higher Advance Rate at the start of the new season will help our shareholders in managing their farming businesses to ensure an ongoing supply of high quality milk to the Co-operative,” said Mr Wilson.

Market Factors Influencing the Milk Price

Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the fundamental supply and demand balance has shifted: “Global milk production growth is slowing as a result of unfavourable weather conditions in many key milk production regions.

“Although we are seeing modest production growth in the USA, recent cold conditions in Europe have had a negative impact on crops and dairy, and the outlook remains mixed.

“Milk production growth in 2013 for the top 15 exporting countries is projected at 0.5 per cent or 1.2 billion litres – well below the 1.8 per cent (4.5 billion litres) growth levels we saw in 2012.

“In general, the global economic outlook remains steady but with some downside risk. In the USA modest growth continues, while China has managed a soft landing with the consensus on growth at around 7.8 per cent.

“While we expect most farmer shareholders will welcome a higher Milk Price, we will continue to closely monitor these key factors contributing to Fonterra’s opening forecast for the 2013/14 season.”

Mr Spierings said Fonterra was currently preparing its budgets for 2014, however, shareholders and unit holders should expect the strong uplift in international dairy powder prices to create a more challenging environment for Fonterra’s earnings in the first half of the 2014 financial year.

2012/13 Forecast

The Co-operative also confirmed today that it is holding its current forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2012/13 season at $5.80 per kgMS, and a forecast dividend of 32 cents per share, amounting to a cash Payout of $6.12 for a fully shared-up farmer.

“We are maintaining our current season forecast but advising farmers to be cautious in managing their budgets as we have seen a sharp drop in milk volumes as a result of the drought, and recent declines in GlobalDairyTrade auction results,” said Mr Wilson.

Raw Milk Regulation Change

Fonterra welcomed changes to Raw Milk Regulations that will apply from June 1.

“This season is the last when competitors can cherry pick when they get milk during the season, and it has coincided with the drought and the recent higher export prices.

“This meant Fonterra was required to supply large volumes of milk to competitors when milk flows were very low because of the drought, reducing the utilisation of our factories.

“At current prices, we estimate that the milk we have supplied our export competitors from March to May will cost our shareholders about $25 million in lost earnings, amounting to 1.5 cents per share in lost earnings.

“At the same time we estimate that due to the drought the benefit to our competitors is far greater, with the potential to add between 5 – 30 cents per kgMS to their performance.

“As this year’s drought has shown us, the Government did the right thing in changing the Raw Milk Regulations last year,” said Mr Wilson.

A forecast payout is just a forecast, it can change. But the board and management do their best to neither over nor under promise so suppliers have reasonable certainty when budgeting.


NZ scores well on Better Life Index

May 29, 2013

New Zealand scores well on the OCED’s Better Life Index which ranks countries on quality of life factors including education, health, housing and income.

The commentary for New Zealand says:

New Zealand performs exceptionally well in overall well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In New-Zealand, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 21 892 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn five times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, 73% of people aged 15 to 64 in New-Zealand have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 78% of men are in paid work, compared with 67% of women. People in New-Zealand work 1 762 hours a year, slightly less than the OECD average of 1 776 hours. Around 13% of employees work very long hours, more than the OECD average of 9%, with 20% of men working very long hours compared with 6% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In New-Zealand, 73% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, close to the OECD average of 74%. This is slightly truer of men than women, as 74% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 72% of women. New-Zealand is a top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system. The average student scored 524 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 497, making New-Zealand one of the strongest OECD countries in students’ skills. On average in New-Zealand, girls outperformed boys by 15 points, higher than the average OECD gap of 9 points. 

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in New-Zealand is 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 83 years, compared with 79 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs –is 12 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 21 micrograms per cubic meter. New-Zealand also does well in terms of water quality, as 88% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, higher than the 84% OECD average.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in New-Zealand, where 93% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 90%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 74% during recent elections, higher than the OECD average of 72%. Voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 81%, whereas the participation rate of the bottom 20% is an estimated 75%. This 6 percentage point difference is lower than the OECD average difference of 12 percentage points, and suggests there is broad social inclusion in New Zealand’s democratic institutions.

In general, 83% of people in New-Zealand say they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc), more than OECD average of 80%.


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