Word of the day

April 1, 2014

Pillock - idiot, fool, stupid or annoying person.


Rural round-up

April 1, 2014

Venison industry at the crossroads – Keith Woodford:

In recent years the venison industry has gone backwards. Total farmed deer numbers declined from about 1.8 million in 2005 to 1.1 million in 2011. The most recent 2013 annual slaughter statistics show that 53% of slaughtered animals were females. This is a sure sign of ongoing retreat. So what has gone wrong and what can be fixed?

Back in the 1980s, AgResearch data from Invermay Research Station suggested that red deer were more efficient at converting grass to meat than non-deer species. We now know that on an overall farm system basis that notion was wrong.

The female deer reproductive system has been designed by nature to only produce one progeny per year. This productive disadvantage would not matter too much if the price premium was large, and for a long time this was the case. . . .

New conservation fund announced:

A Community Conservation Partnership Fund to support the work of voluntary organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects was launched today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith at the opening of the new Hoddy Estuary Park in Nelson.

“Thousands of New Zealanders contribute to conservation by building tracks, controlling pests, planting trees, and restoring native wildlife. This new fund is about the Government providing finance for the plants, traps, poisons, equipment and coordination to support this voluntary work,” Dr Smith says.

The new fund of $26 million over the next four years is to be distributed to community organisations in an annual contestable funding round of between $6 million and $7 million a year. Projects may be funded over multiple years, reflecting the time it takes to complete projects of this sort. . .

Chatham Rock, would-be seabed phosphate miner, files second EEZ marine consent application:

(BusinessDesk) – Chatham Rock Phosphate, which wants to mine phosphate nodules from the seafloor on the Chatham Rise, has submitted a draft marine consent application to the Environmental Protection Authority.

The application is the second to be submitted under new EEZ legislation. TransTasman Resources, which wants to hoover ironsands off the seafloor more than 20 kilometres off the coast from Patea is currently going through the first ever hearings under the new regime.

CRP’s application comes after more than four years’ work and $25 million of investment in environmental impact assessments, market evaluation, and development of relationships with mining partners, most notably Dutch dredging firm Royal Boskalis. . .

Investment over decade shows merit of ewe’s milk - Alison Rudd:

A decade ago, Southland businessman Keith Neylon did not know the first thing about sheep’s milk.

Now his company, Blue River Dairy, milks more than 10,000 ewes daily; runs a factory turning out butter, five cheese varieties, ice cream and milk powder; exports products to seven countries; and has just launched sheep’s milk infant formula on the New Zealand and Chinese markets.

Reporter Allison Rudd spoke to the agricultural innovator.

Keith Neylon nurses a cup of coffee in the cafe and tasting room at the Blue River Dairy factory, formerly the Invercargill town milk supply plant. He’s in the middle of an interview, but he still has his eye on his customers. . .

Pilot training course in deer handling to start :

A training course in how to manage and handle farmed deer has been developed, with a pilot run starting in Southland next month.

For several years, training opportunities had been very limited so a 12-month level 3 training course had been developed to ”fill the gap”, Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) producer manager Tony Pearse said.

A pilot block course is being held at Netherdale deer stud at Balfour on April 9, followed by one in South Canterbury in the spring. After that course ended, there would be courses in the North and South Islands in response to a hopefully increasing demand, Mr Pearse said. . .

Fake products risk NZ honey exports:

A Waikato University scientist says there is a risk that fraudulent products will wreck the international reputation of New Zealand honey exports.

Associate Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris says it is extremely urgent that New Zealand sets up standardised labelling of honey, especially the lucrative manuka variety.

New Zealand produced more than 16,000 tonnes of honey in 2012 and 2013 and in 2012 honey exports were worth $120 million with manuka honey making up about 90 per centof that.

The Ministry of Primary Industries has formed two working groups to come up with a robust labelling guideline for manuka honey – one made up of scientists and one from the industry. . .

 


Memories are made of this

April 1, 2014

Be a betterarian – farming with respect

April 1, 2014

Journey of a betterarian part 2 – farming with respect:

There’s more on being a betterarian here.

 

 


Employment optimism rising

April 1, 2014

Optimism about jobs is at its highest since the GFC:

New Zealand employment confidence has risen in the first quarter, suggesting the labour market is starting to reflect a general upturn in the economy.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose to 109.4 in the first three months of 2014, from 103.4 in the final quarter of 2013.

The index is now at its highest level since the global financial crisis and ensuing recession although it is still weaker than before the recession hit, according to Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens.

While households’ perceptions of job opportunities improved to the best reading since December 2008, it is still deeply negative at a net -32 percent from -46.9 percent.

“The fruits of New Zealand’s economic upturn are increasingly becoming apparent to workers and jobseekers,” Mr Stephens said. . . .

Confidence is still weaker than before the recession but the trend is upwards which is encouraging and GDP growth means it is likely to get better.
• Real GDP grew by a robust 0.9% in the December 2013 quarter, and the current account deficit narrowed sharply.
• All signs remain consistent with the economy maintaining significant momentum in the first half of 2014.

• International economic data were broadly positive, despite financial market jitters.

 


Would it be churlish to ask for interest?

April 1, 2014

Winston Peters has finally deigned to repay the $158,000 of public money he and New Zealand First misappropriated for their 2005 election campaign.

Would it be churlish to ask for interest and penalties for late payment?


Parliamentary prayer to be replaced

April 1, 2014

The prayer which opens each sitting of parliament is to be axed and replaced with something more appropriate for 21st century New Zealand.

Discussion on the appropriateness of a prayer when parliament now has adherents of a range of religions and a number of agnostics and atheists had prompted the change.

Speaker’s spokeswoman Faith Ornot said the speaker was also concerned about the hypocrisy of starting with a prayer when the behaviour which followed was anything but sanctified.

“MPs aren’t allowed to use the H word in the house and we don’t think it’s appropriate to start with something which turns many of them into hypocrites,” she said.

“Instead, the speaker will tell a joke to inject a little levity into the House and start proceedings with a smile.”

Ms Ornot said that there will be a session of Laughter Yoga immediately before the House sits to get MPs into the mood.

“Laughter Yoga has proven physiological and psychological benefits which we think will improved the well-being and mood of MPs.

“It will also be introduced across the public service.”

Ms Ornot said Laughter Yoga sessions would be optional at first but compulsory for all parliamentarians and public servants from April 1 next year.

 


It is about trust

April 1, 2014

The latest poll shows trust matters to voters.

David Cunliffe’s problems with the trust he used to hide donations has turned off voters.

In the latest 3 News-Reid Research poll, when asked if his actions were worthy of a Prime Minister, 65 percent of voters, almost two-thirds, said “no”, while only 27 percent said “yes”. . .

Kiwiblog shows support for most opposition leaders goes up after they’re elected but Cunilffe’s trend has been all down hill.
Given he’s been caught faking his CV, bungling policy announcements, using a trust and then trying to say he wasn’t wealthy, this is no more than he deserves.

April 1 in history

April 1, 2014

527 Byzantine Emperor Justin I named his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.

1293 Robert Winchelsey left England for Rome, to be consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.

1318 Berwick-upon-Tweed was captured by the Scottish from the English.

1340 Niels Ebbesen killed Gerhard III of Holstein in his bedroom, ending the 1332-1340 interregnum in Denmark.

1572  In the Eighty Years’ War, the Watergeuzen captured Brielle from the Spaniards, gaining the first foothold on land for what would become the Dutch Republic.

1789 The United States House of Representatives held its first quorum and elected Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first House Speaker.

1815 Otto von Bismarck, 1st Chancellor of Germany, was born (d. 1898).

1826  Samuel Morey patented the internal combustion engine.

1854 Hard Times begins serialisation in Charles Dickens‘ magazine, Household Words.

1857 Herman Melville published The Confidence-Man.

1865 American Civil War: Battle of Five Forks – In Siege of Petersburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee began his final offensive.

1867 Singapore became a British crown colony.

1873 The British steamer RMS Atlantic sank off Nova Scotia, killing 547.

1875 Edgar Wallace, English writer, was born (d. 1932).

1887 Mumbai Fire Brigade was established.

1891 The Wrigley Company was founded in Chicago.

1908 The Territorial Force (renamed Territorial Army in 1920) was formed as a volunteer reserve component of the British Army.

1912 The Greek athlete Konstantinos Tsiklitiras broke the world record in the standing long jump jumping 3.47 meters.

1918 The Royal Air Force was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

1924 Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch“.

1924 – The Royal Canadian Air Force was formed.

1932  Debbie Reynolds, American actress, was born.

1933 The recently elected Nazis under Julius Streicher organised a one-day boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses in Germany.

1937 Aden became a British crown colony.

1938 – Ali MacGraw, American actress, was born.

1939 Generalísimo Francisco Franco announced the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered.

1941  The Blockade Runner Badge for the German navy was instituted.

1944  Navigation errors lead to an accidental American bombing of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen.

1945 World War II: Operation Iceberg – United States troops land on Okinawa in the last campaign of the war.

1946 Aleutian Island earthquake: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a tsunami that struck the Hawaiian Islands killing 159.

1946 – Formation of the Malayan Union.

1948  Cold War: Berlin Airlift – Military forces, under direction of the Soviet-controlled government in East Germany, set-up a land blockade of West Berlin.

1948 Faroe Islands received  autonomy from Denmark.

1949  Chinese Civil War: The Communist Party of China held unsuccessful peace talks with the Kuomintang in Beijing, after three years of fighting.

1949 The Canadian government repealed Japanese Canadian internment after seven years.

1949 – The twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland.

1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorised the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

1955 The EOKA rebellion against The British Empire starts in Cyprus, with the goal of obtaining the desired unification (“enosis”) with Greece.

1957 BBC Spaghetti tree hoax broadcast on current affairs programme Panorama.

1961 Susan Boyle, Scottish singer, was born.

1965 TEAL became Air New Zealand.

TEAL becomes Air New Zealand

1969 The Hawker Siddeley Harrier entered service with the RAF.

1970   President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertisements on television and radio.

1973 Stephen Fleming, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

Stephen Fleming slip.jpg

1973  Project Tiger, a tiger conservation project, was launched in the Corbett National Park, India.

1974 – ACC began operating.

1976 Apple Computer was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

1976 Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect is first reported by the astronomer Patrick Moore.

1978 – Thermal insulation was required in NZ homes.

1979  Iran became an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.

1980  New York City’s Transit Worker Union 100 began a strike lasting 11 days.

1981 – The New Zealand Film Archive was launched.

 

1987 State Owned Enterprises came into existence.

State-Owned Enterprises are born

1989 Margaret Thatcher’s new local government tax, the Community Charge (commonly known as the ‘poll tax’), was introduced in Scotland.

1992 Start of the Bosnian war.

1997 Comet Hale-Bopp is seen passing over perihelion.

1999 Nunavut was established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories.

2001 An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collided with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The crew made an emergency landing in Hainan, China and was detained.

2001 – Former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević surrendered to police special forces to be tried on charges of war crimes.

2001 – Same-sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands, the first country to allow it.

2002 The Netherlands legalised euthanasia, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.

2004 Google introduced  Gmail – a launch met with scepticism on account of the date.

2006 The Serious Organised Crime Agency, dubbed the ‘British FBI’, was created in the United Kingdom.

2009 – Croatia and Albania joined NATO

2011  – After protests against the burning of the Quran turn violent, a mob attacks a United Nations compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of thirteen people, including eight foreign workers.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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