¡Vamos Argentina!

July 14, 2014

If we were hosting the rugby World Cup, lost the semi-final to England, played against South Africa for 3rd and 4th place and lost and had to watch Australia in the final, how would we be feeling?

We’d be somewhat less than ecstatic but southern hemisphere loyalty would probably beat trans-Tasman rivalry and we’d be cheering for the Aussies.

That will probably be how it is for Brazil, having to watch Argentina play Germany in the World Cup final today after losing to the Netherlands yesterday.

They’d rather it was them but South American solidarity will probably trump their rivalry with their neighbours and they’ll back them against the European team.

We have German friends and our surname has German origins.

My farmer’s great-grandfather and his brother were Germans who jumped ship in the 18th century to avoid conscription into the Prussian army.

They ended up in New Zealand where eventually the name became Anglicised.

Relatives of the two brothers still live in Germany and we have friends there too so I could be backing the Germans.

But our links with Argentina are stronger.

We hosted an AFS student from there, his family is now ours. We’ve been there seven times and they’ve visited us too and the links were strengthened when our nephew married and Argentinean.

So today we’ll be backing the team in blue and white and shouting, ¡vamos Argentina!

 


So close . . .

July 11, 2014

Scott Donaldson has had to abandon his attempt to be the first solo kayaker to cross the Tasman Sea.

Mr Donaldson was winched on board the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter around 2.15pm after requesting a rescue from the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre. . .

A freshly shaven Mr Donaldson told a press conference at the hospital later that he was feeling “pretty good physically” but a third attempt at the transtasman crossing was unlikely.

He said he was hurting after not completing his journey.

“I didn’t hit the finish line and that hurts me deeply and will hurt me for a long, long time,” he said.

“I didn’t want to go home.”

Mr Donaldson said he felt gutted when he saw the helicopter arrive to pluck him from his kayak, which was “wearing thin” following the “nastiest night” of the journey.

“34 miles short — that really gets me,” he said.

He said the decision to call off his mission was not made based on emotions.

“It wasn’t hard to make the call.”

He said if he had gone through the weather conditions forecast for tonight he would have risked losing communications, and that wasn’t a risk he was willing to take. . .

It must be frustrating to come so close and have to give up after all he’s been through, but the record wasn’t worth risking his life, or that of anyone who might have attempted to rescue him had he carried on and got into trouble.


Argentina 0 – Netherlands 0

July 10, 2014

At the end of extra time Argentina and the Netherlands are locked 0 – 0.

This, the second World Cup semi final, will now be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

I know almost nothing about football but I’m on the edge of my seat.


Sign of the day

June 15, 2014

EXCELLENT FOOD FOR THOUGHT by Moutere JAB at Awarua Park.


28 -27, phew!

June 15, 2014

Dunedin’s Octagon was a sea of black with a very few splashes of red and white before last night’s game.

The sell-out crowd at the Forsyth Barr stadium was also showing its true colours were mostly shades of black.

Before the kick-off the mood was buoyant. The crowd quietened somewhat as England scored the first points and by half-time with the score at 10-6, with the All Blacks behind, there was a fair degree of nervousness.

However, it looked like a different team in the second half and when Ben Smith touched down for his first try as an All Black in front of his home crowd, and put the ABs in front.

He’d been equally as impressive in the first half with sprint half way up the field which ended in a try-saving tackle.

Tries by Ma’a Nonu and Julian Savea followed and with minutes to go the score was 28-27 but England managed a late try.

The All Blacks have already won the three-match series, the Steinlager Cup and the Hillary Shield.

 

abs

 

 

 

 

 

 

But if this is the second-string English team it was described as before the tour, the All Blacks have a lot of work to do.

They won’t be wasting time admiring the silver-ware, they’ll be preparing for another hard test next week.

And that one won’t be played in nearly as good conditions for the teams, or spectators, as last night’s thanks to the stadium roof.


Time for a whole new competition

June 9, 2014

Perhaps the America’s Cup was once a race on the water where crews and their yachts competed with a fair chance of winning.

In recent years there’s been a lot more action in board rooms and courts.

One reason for that is the defender’s ability to rig the rules and the latest rigging is the last straw.

Paul Lewis says it’s time for a replacement America’s Cup:

Let’s start a replacement America’s Cup.

A proper one, with one set of rules for everyone and genuine competition. Not some heavily-rigged pretence at sport which is actually a play for power and money. That’s what Oracle Team USA served up with their protocol for the 35th America’s Cup this week.

This is a jack-up so obvious it should be called the Jack Cup. This went beyond the usual America’s Cup defender giving themselves an advantage. This is the US Army, armed with nukes, drones and heat-seeking missiles versus Spongebob Squarepants waving a sharp teaspoon. This is ensuring retention of the Cup under the banner of taking sailing to the masses and making it more commercial. Translation: more of everything for Oracle. . . .

A new event would be cheaper, fairer and more accessible. It could be staged in Australia or New Zealand, or even both, and would eventually grow to be its own event, maybe even overshadowing the Cup which could stand proudly in the Golden Gate Yacht Club trophy cabinet – forgotten and uncontested. . . .

Let’s have a yacht race that has clear rules which gives everyone the same chance and is decided on the water by the skill of the crews.


20 – 15, phew!

June 7, 2014

All Blacks 20 – England 15 is far too close for comfort when it’s supposedly a second-string English team.


NZer World Champion shearer

May 26, 2014

New Zealand has another world champion:

Twenty seven year old Rowland Smith from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand is the new World Champion Machine Sheep Shearer. Earlier this evening in Gorey, he fought off stiff competition from Scotland’s Gavin Mutch and Hamish Mitchell, who came second and third respectively. Gavin was the defending champion.

By common consent this week’s championships in Gorey have helped raise the profile of sheep shearing to a world-wide audience, given that 27 countries and 102 individual shearers took part.

Rowland was born on to a sheep farm, with the family enterprise extending to 1,500 breeding ewes. Twice a winner of the Golden Shears’ event in New Zealand, this was his first time competing in the world championships.

“I have been shearing since coming out of nappies,” Rowland told Agriland.

“And today’s victory is as much for my family back home as it is for me as an individual.”

Last year Rowland sheared 60,000 sheep in New Zealand. . .

Jamie Mackay interviewed Rowland on the Farming Show today.


32 -30

May 24, 2014

Crusaders 32 – Highlanders 30.

Were we robbed?

We were at the game in Dunedin  – and very grateful the Forsyth Barr Stadium has a roof because it’s a very cold night.

The Highlanders spent the last few minutes on attack and – we all thought – scored in the final seconds.

The referee went to the TMO. The crowd cheered as we watched the replay, but alas, the try wasn’t awarded.


Rural round-up

February 22, 2014

Chinese checkers - Hugh Stringleman:

New Zealand’s infant formula exporters and dairy processors are braced for a Chinese shakedown of brands, premises and regulatory compliance that could lead to severe restrictions on trade.

Teams of auditors from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA) are due in early March.MPI,

They will choose where they go from more than 350 potential company sites and descend on premises with little warning, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has advised.

Smaller, independent infant formula exporters also fear new Chinese regulations addressing the proliferation of NZ brands are imminent. . .

Seals can pass TB to beef cattle:

A new scientific paper has documented cases of fur seals passing a strain of bovine tuberculosis to New Zealand beef cattle.

Over the last 20 years there have been seven documented cases of cattle catching a strain of Tb after coming into contact with the fur seals, three on beaches in the North and South Islands and four in the Chatham Islands.

TBfree New Zealand national disease manager Kevin Crews says the purpose of the paper was to document the cases, which are believed to be the only ones recorded in the world. . .

Pressurised irrigation water to the farm gate with Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme:

Irrigation water available to farmers using the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme will be delivered to their farm gates ‘under pressure’; potentially saving each operator significant costs in on-farm infrastructure and energy costs.

The news comes as negotiations continue to move forward with joint venture OHL-Hawkins, the RWSS preferred consortia.European Contractor, Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) and Hawkins Infrastructure, New Zealand’s largest privately-owned construction company have joined forces for the project.

RWSS Project Manager Graeme Hansen says being able to deliver the water closer to the farm gate than initially planned and providing it ‘under pressure’ is great news for farmers and part of the ongoing ‘optimisation’ of the scheme that has continued through the design phase negotiations. . .

Farm Jam is back for 2014  – Justene Taua :

The awesome event is back next year for another round of BMX, FMX and fun   SAVE THE DATE! NZ Farm Jam organisers have announced 1 March 2014 as the date for next year’s instalment of the epic two-wheeled action-sports event.   Fresh off a highly successful 2013, organisers Dan and Brett Frew have already put the wheels in motion to ensure their unique Jam contest continues to evolve as one of the world’s premier multi-discipline events. . . .

Deane’s bed of roses – Alison Francis:

UNFORTUNATELY for Cabarlah farmer Byron Deane, a bunch of roses just doesn’t cut the mustard come Valentine’s Day.

Working alongside his wife, Amanda, on their rose farm since 2002, Byron says by the time the clippers go down and the final bow is tied, a well-earned rest is in order for his Valentine’s Day.

“Because we work together on the farm, along with mum and dad, I don’t think a bunch of roses is really what she wants to see at the end of the day,” he jokes.

“We always have a bunch of roses at home on the kitchen table, but for Valentine’s Day it is usually chocolates, movies and dinner a couple of days after for us.”    . . .

GrainCorp’s $70m diversification move  – Andrew Marshall:

HOT on the heels of its move to upgrade oilseed processing facilities in Victoria, GrainCorp has confirmed it is spending a further $70 million building and expanding its bulk oil, fuel and chemical storage business.

Work has just started on foundations for a new bulk liquid facility to service the chemical industry next to GrainCorp’s Port Kembla grain export terminal on the NSW South Coast.

Construction is due finish by the end of the year.

In Brisbane GrainCorp’s big liquid terminals’ site at Pinkenba will add additional storage to be available from 2015. . .

Forestry Investment Attracts Top People:

FIEA’s upcoming conference on forest investment is drawing delegates from top management positions in both New Zealand and Australia as the opportunity for early-bird registration offers closes at the end of this week.

One of the reasons for the popularity of the Forest Investment and Market Outlook conference running in April in Melbourne and Auckland is the international keynote speakers. One of the keynote speakers at FIMO 2014 Gary Myers, managing partner at TimberLink LLC from Georgia, USA. With a good international speaker line-up in place, many TIMOs are registering delegates to attend the April conference – the third in this biennial series . . .


302!

February 18, 2014

Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum is the first New Zealand batsman to score 300 runs in a test.

He got to 298, hit a four and in doing so broke Martin Crowe’s record of 299 runs.

That he was caught on the next ball doesn’t matter, but does indicate whatbit took to break the record.

It was a wonderful feat for him and his supporting partner Jimmy Neesham who scored his maiden century.

Keeping Stock has more statistics.


It’s a draw!

January 25, 2014

Who said cricket was boring?

10.15pm – India draw to keep series alive

Ravindra Jadeja hits a single on the last ball to draw level with the Black Caps and keep the series alive with two matches left to play.

New Zealand had some bad luck in the final overs but India refused to lie down and fought back to achieve what seemed impossible.

Thrilling finish to a fantastic game. . .

Just wondering if any New Zealander thought it might have been cricket to bowl the last ball underarm?


In the holidays I . . .

January 3, 2014

It could be seen as mixing politics and sport.

It is also a sign of John Key’s ability to get on with other leaders:

. . . The golf outing put Key in rarified company. Obama is an avid golfer, but prefers to limit his playing partners to a close circle of friends and advisers.

Among those who have also scored invitations to play with Obama in the past are former President Bill Clinton and House Speaker John Boehner. . .

The score has not been made public.

 

 


5 shearers claim world record

December 10, 2013

New Zealand shearers have set a new world record:

Five shearers have toiled eight hours to set a world record by shearing 2638 lambs in a woolshed south of Auckland.

Marlborough’s Angus Moore shore 607 lambs to lead the individual tallies at Cashmore Farms, near Clevedon on Tuesday.

He was accompanied by Sam Welch, of Waikaretu, who shore 573, Tuakau shearer Coel L’Huillier, 518, Welch’s brother Richard, 491, and Peter Totorewa, from Rangiruru, who shore 449. . .


Lorde & Ko most influential teens.

November 13, 2013

Two young New Zealand women are in Time’s list of 16 most influential teens.

Lorde:

The just-turned 17-year-old New Zealander rocketed to international fame this year with the release of her first album, Pure Heroine. Proof: New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who won the election on a message railing against economic inequality, walked onto stage to Lorde’s defiant “Royals.” The child prodigy—she signed with a label at 13—is already competing with pop’s biggest stars, surpassing Miley Cyrus in September for the top spot on iTunes with “Royals.” The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is forging her own path, turning down an opportunity to join Katy Perry on tour because, as she said at the time, it “didn’t feel right.”

Lydia Ko:
A New Zealand golfer born in South Korea, 16-year-old Lydia Ko has multiple LPGA wins. She turned pro this year—the LPGA waived the age requirement for her to join—and she’s already fifth in women’s world rankings after just 23 tournaments. She’s the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event and the youngest person ever to win an LPGA tour event (and the only amateur to ever win two LPGA Tour events).

First Aust female trainer wins Melbourne Cup

November 5, 2013

Fiorente, ridden by Damien Oliver, and trained by Gai Waterhouse, won the Melbourne Cup.

Ageless marvel Red Cadeaux has run second for the second time after finishing runner-up by a few pixels to Dunaden in 2011, while Mount Athos ran third, in what will be another frustrating placing for the English Cumani stable. . .

Waterhouse is the first Australian woman to train a Cup winner.

For those who follow my totally unreliable method of picking winners by the jockey’s colours, Oliver was in black with a hot pink stripe for his third Cup win.

Red Cadeuaux’s jockey Gerald Mosse was in tourquise with red diamonds and Mount Athos was ridden by Craig Williams in grey with gold stars.

Waterhouse’s son Tom will be thrilled with the win, he won $1,000,000 betting on the horse.

#gigatownoamaru is still racing towards the #gigatown prize.

 


Rugby history – kickoff goes backwards

October 27, 2013

Yesterday Meads Cup final will go down in rugby history.

Not for the score – Mid Canterbury 26 – North Otago 20, but this kickoff.

When North Otago fullback Ed Keohane restarted the game during the first half the unbelievable happened.

The kick-off not only failed to go the required 10 metres, but was picked up by the wind and carried backwards all the way over his own dead ball line.


Loving the stadium

October 20, 2013

Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr stadium wasn’t universally welcomed and mumblings about its cost to ratepayers continues.

But yesterday the city was buzzing and a near-capacity crowd enjoyed a wonderful game of rugby there in comfort.

It was a mild evening but even so it was probably the first time most of the crowd had watched a test in Dunedin in shirt sleeves.

The roof climate-proofs events and that matters this far south.

Rugby was the winner last night but the stadium is used for a variety of other activities which are much more enjoyable for being held under cover.

Among these is the Otago wine and food festival which will take place at the stadium on November 23rd.

Economists say that people putting the case for stadiums overestimate the benefits and underestimate the costs.

But not everything can be measured in money.

Dunedin isn’t feeling very positive at the moment but the stadium is a bright spot which brings locals together and attracts people from other places too.


Rural round-up

October 4, 2013

Whisky-fed salmon to boost sustainability:

The whisky and salmon industries in Scotland are about to embark on an innovative new partnership which will convert waste from whisky production into feed for salmon and fish farming.

Over 500 million litres of whisky are produced in the UK each year. But for every litre of whisky produced, up to 15 litres of potentially harmful waste can be generated1.

Chemical engineers from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland are looking to solve this problem by converting some of the waste into protein-rich feed, which could have the added benefit of providing a sustainable and economic supply of feedstock for the growing Scottish fish farming industry. . .

Synlait Milk – Champion Global Operator at Champion Canterbury Business Awards:

Synlait Milk has won the Champion Global Operator Award (large to medium enterprise) at the 2013 Champion Canterbury Business Awards. This is the second consecutive year that Synlait Milk has won this award.

“Winning the Champion Global Operator Award for the second year running is testament to our business strategy and the effort from all our staff,” says Synlait Milk Managing Director John Penno.

“The award caps off a great year for the Company in which we successfully began trading on the NZX Main Board, after completing a positive Initial Public Offering, in addition to posting an after tax profit of $11.5 million for FY13,” says Mr Penno. . .

Jobs under threat as meat company makes changes:

Jobs are on the line as the country’s biggest meat processor, Silver Fern Farms, makes adjustments to its North Island operations.

The co-operative is making changes as the new season gets underway with the prospect of lower stock numbers from the summer drought.

Silver Fern is consolidating beef processing in Waikato and negotiating to sell its skin processing plant near Shannon.

The firm is considering an offer from the Lowe Corporation to buy the ageing Shannon fellmongery, which employs more than 80 workers. . .

Nutricia Restates Quality and Safety Assurance with Extra Commitments:

Infant formula manufacturer Nutricia has restated its world-class commitment to quality, safety and transparent communication, with three extra commitments:

1. Extra controls on suppliers
2. Innovation to improve industry standards 3. Extra commitment to communication with parents and carers

These extra commitments enhance Nutricia’s established quality and safety procedures of rigorous testing, state-of-the-art manufacturing, comprehensive sanitation and hygiene, quality & safety accreditations, and traceability. . .

Pure ambitions for Angus brand – Tim Cronshaw:

A new-look angus brand providing premium payments for farmers will be announced at the World Angus Forum.

Details of the Angus Pure brand development have yet to be revealed, but will centre around new criteria being set for selecting meat carcasses. This will be unveiled during a secretariat meeting at the forum to be held in Rotorua from October 13 to 16.

Forum chairman Tim Brittain said the extension to the brand would offer opportunities for the New Zealand food service sector and for sales to the international marketplace. . .

The diary of a teenage bee – Raymond Huber:

A female bee lives for only about six weeks in summer. But it’s a life lived to the full because she’s constantly changing jobs: from cleaner to babysitter, builder, honey-chef, queen-groomer, guard, forager, undertaker and scout. Here is the diary of a teen bee:

Week 1    Dear Diary, So unfair! The work started the moment I hatched. I had to clean out my birth cell (ew!), then spend the whole week tidying the rest of the hive. My older sisters call me a ‘house bee’ and say I’m not allowed outside ‘til I’m 21 days. And I’m like, no way sister!

Week 2   Dear Diary, Yay! I’m a babysitter. The babies are sooo cute but totally exhausting. I have to check them 1300 times a day (okay, call me obsessive) to make sure they’re okay.  Meanwhile the comb cleaning goes on 4EVAH…

NZer secures top Irish horse for Cup:

Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs will be aimed at the Melbourne Cup after New Zealand bloodstock agent Paul Moroney secured the mare in a surprise deal.

Voleuse De Coeurs’ Cup price was slashed to $A17 from $A34 after the announcement she would leave Dermot Weld to be trained by Moroney’s brother Mike Moroney, who is based at Flemington.

The mare will be flown to Newmarket for her quarantine and is expected to arrive in Australia on October 19. . .


Just one more race

September 26, 2013

It’s Emirates Team New Zealand 8 – Oracle Team USA 8.

Oracle has made an amazing come-back.

The pressure on both teams is immense – both need just one more race, both have only one more race.

Kia kaha Team New Zealand – we’re still leaning with you.
Sending the boys on their way to the race of their lives with a classic kiwi send off. Let's do this.


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