Oamaru on-line census trial worked

April 14, 2014

Several trends have emerged following analysis of the 2013 Census online option, Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson says.

Close to two million census forms, or 34 per cent of all forms, were done online, with the response rate peaking at 130,000 forms per hour on census night.

“The average time taken to complete an individual form was 10 minutes and eight minutes for the dwelling form.

“The Auckland and Wellington regions had the highest proportion of individual forms done online.  It was also interesting to note the online option was most popular for people who were born overseas, of Asian ethnicity and aged in their thirties,” Mr Williamson says.

Another feature of the 2013 Census was a trial in Oamaru that saw everyone receive internet access codes via mail, with paper forms only delivered on request.

“About 65 per cent of people completed forms online, which was nearly double the national rate.  It shows an online delivery and collection method for census can work in New Zealand.

“It also gives Statistics New Zealand a strong base to explore online options for other surveys,” Mr Williamson says.

As more people have reliable internet connections, on-line options should become more popular.

It will be considerably less expensive for Statistics NZ.

However, it might require an opt-in for paper as was used in Oamaru to prompt those less confident, or more reluctant, about using the internet to take the on-line option.


Baa-rnstorming the Lourve

March 30, 2014

Visitors to the Louvre got more than they baa-rgained for yesterday:

It was more je ne sais baa than quoi at the Louvre museum this morning as a flock of sheep and their farmers stormed the Paris landmark.

The protesters were from the Farmers’ Federation, who carried banners reading “PAC’astrophe” in reference to the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, which is under reform.

They were objecting to the effects of the industrialisation of agriculture, saying they feared for farmers’ jobs. . . .

Change is difficult but necessary.
We can be grateful that difficult as it was at the time, being thrust into the real world in the 1980s has made agriculture in New Zealand stronger.
Without those changes New Zealand would not be leading the developed world in economic growth nor would we be able to afford so much of the imports and social services which depend on export income.

 


Beyond reasonable doubt

March 25, 2014

Any hopes that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 had landed safely have been dashed.

Malaysia’s prime minister has announced that missing flight MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Najib Razak said this was the conclusion of fresh analysis of satellite data tracking the flight.

Najib Razak said this was the conclusion of fresh analysis of satellite data tracking the flight.

Malaysia Airlines had told the families of the 239 people on board, he said.

The BBC has seen a text message sent to families by the airline saying it had to be assumed “beyond reasonable doubt” that the plane was lost and there were no survivors.

There were 227 passengers on flight MH370, many of them Chinese. . . .

It is natural to continue hoping until the worst has been confirmed and now it has, beyond reasonable doubt.

Families, some of whom have lost two and three generations, and friends of passengers now know there is no hope of survivors.

But the answer to where the plane crashed leaves many more questions:

What was it doing in the southern Indian Ocean so far from its original flight path?

Who was behind the change in direction and why?

And how, when so many fear mass surveillance, can a plane disappear into thin air and it take so long to find it?

 


Schools have choices

February 4, 2014

Schools don’t have enough money?

This one does:

. . . About 250 new iPad minis were given to children starting the new year at Te Akau ki Papamoa, a decile 4 school in Bay of Plenty, yesterday.

A further 45 tablets have been ordered for late enrollers.

So far the school has invested about $50,000 to ensure all its senior students have their own device. They retail for about $450 each.

Hundreds of schools around the country have implemented “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, where students are either told or allowed to bring electronic devices such as iPads or laptops to assist their learning.

Principal Bruce Jepsen told the Herald that concerns about such policies creating a “haves” and “have-nots” situation meant his board of trustees chose a different approach.

He said another problem with students bringing their own devices was the variety, which could hinder teachers trying to corral a classroom full of different technology.

The school already had about five iPads in every classroom – around 150 across its 500 students.

Every student in Years 4 to 6 received an iPad yesterday. The plan is to extend the programme to the junior school eventually.

While many schools would balk at the cost, Mr Jepsen said it had been possible with careful budgeting and some fundraising.

A Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust subsidy will pay 50 per cent of the initial $101,000 cost. But Mr Jepsen insisted the school was committed to the initiative with or without assistance, with another $60,000 budgeted for that purpose.

“[The grant] means we are able to progress the second phase of rolling out to the junior school a lot quicker.” . . .

Accepting that decile rankings are blunt instruments, decile four reflects a community that isn’t wealthy but careful budgeting and some fundraising has given this school choices.

That’s what happens when you allow them to make their own decisions on how to spend their money in the best interests of their pupils.


Time for @FarmersOfNZ?

January 20, 2014

A Twitter initiative to give the public information about the day to day reality of farming in Canada  has sparked similar initiatives in the UK and Australia:

. . . The @FarmersOfTheUK series will see a different farmer every week sharing their life through tweets, pictures and videos.

“I created it because UK farming plc doesn’t do enough to shout about how great it is, so the idea was to let consumers and the public know the diverse nature of farming enterprises and the realities of food production,” said rural business adviser Simon Haley.

Mr Haley hopes the idea, based on a similar one in Canada, will generate a “feel-good factor” around farming. . .

There’s also one for Australian farmers.

Is it time for New Zealand farmers to launch @FarmersOfNZ to show the challenges and variety of day to day farming here?


Case for optimism

January 9, 2014

At this time of year when people are making predictions on what the next 12 months will bring, it’s instructive to look back at what people were predicting a few decades ago.

In The Case for Optimism, entrepreneur Fabrice Grinda writes:

Let me take you back in time to the late 1970s for they seemed to mark the beginning of the end of Western Civilization. OECD countries were suffering from stagflation with inflation and unemployment above 10%. We had suffered from 2 oil shocks. The US had lost Vietnam. The Shah had fallen in Iran. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan. Dictatorships were the norm in Eastern Europe, South East Asia, Latin America and even Southern Europe. The Club of Rome had made dire predictions that the world would run out of oil, coal and many natural resources within 40 years.

No one predicted that over the next 40 years there would be democracies across Latin America, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe; that inflation and unemployment would fall dramatically; that we would see the greatest creation of wealth in the history of humanity as 1 billion people came out of poverty. 650 million came out of poverty in China alone, completely changing urban landscapes across the country as a whole. Despite 40 years of record consumption of oil and natural gas we now have more reserves than we did then. The way we work and live has been profoundly transformed by computers, the Internet and mobile phones.

If we take a further step back, we can see that over the last 100 years economic downturns, be they recessions that occur every few years or bigger crisis such as the great depression, as painful as they are while we live them, barely register in a background of unabated economic growth. In fact over the last 100 years human lifespans have doubled from 40 to 80, average per capita income has tripled and childhood mortality has divided by 10. The cost of food, electricity, transportation and communications have dropped 10 to a 1,000 fold. Global literacy has gone from 25% to over 80% in the last 130 years.

We have redefined what poverty means. Today 99% of Americans in poverty have electricity, water, toilet and refrigerator. 95% have a television. 88% have a mobile phone. 70% have a car and air conditioning. The richest people 100 years ago could only dream of such luxuries.

We are also living in the most peaceful time in human history; not just of recent history, but in the history of humanity. We are truly living in extraordinary times. . .

He goes on to look at improvements in technology, health, public service, education , transportation, communication and energy and concludes:

. . .  Think about it. Computing power was so expensive we had to limit access to it. Now it’s so ubiquitous we use it to play Angry Birds or check Facebook. Its very cheapness has unleashed an extraordinary wave of innovation.

The same will happen with energy. Once it’s cheap many of our other problems go away. The idea that we will face a fresh water shortage is also ludicrous. The earth is 70% covered by water. The issue is once again accessibility as only 1.3% of it is surface fresh water. However in a world of unlimited energy it’s easy to desalinate salt water. In fact we may not even need to wait that long as new innovative devices like the Slingshot are coming on stream that can generate 1,000 liters of pure water per day from any water source, even saline or polluted.

Once fresh water is abundant food also becomes abundant as you can grow crops in the dessert – and that’s not taking into consideration an agriculture productivity revolution that could come from urban vertical farms.

As people we are truly blessed to be living in this amazing time. As entrepreneurs and investors we have the privilege of helping create this better world of tomorrow, a world of equality of opportunity and of plenty.

Closer to home, Lindsay Mitchell notes 10 positive trends in New Zealand: Assaults in police, incidents of sudden infant death, recorded crime,  smoking, abortion, teenage pregnancies, road deaths, child mortality, Maori suicide and rheumatic fever have all declined.

Of course there are still major problems at home and abroad but both writers provide strong cases for optimism.

 


Internet outage three days and counting

January 4, 2014

We got home after a few days in Wanaka late this afternoon to find we had no internet.

I turned everything off, waited a few minutes and turned it all on again but we still had no connection.

That being the limit of my self-help repertoire, I phoned the Telecom help desk.

The call was answered by a real person in a very few seconds.

I explained the problem, she ascertained that there was no connection, looked further then said there was an outage in our area.

It had happened on the second, three days ago, and they’d received about 20 calls like mine. Chorus would be fixing it but they had no updates on progress and no knowledge of when service would be restored.

I’m using a T-stick with a laptop which is adequate for my needs, albeit slower than the broadband connection which isn’t working.

But our office staff will be back at work tomorrow and it’s very difficult to run the business on a single T-stick.

It would be good to have the problem fixed and until it is, communication on when it will be, would be appreciated.

The internet is a vital tool for business in the 21st century.

An outage lasting three days – and counting  – with no updates is unacceptable.


Communication better and worse

December 26, 2013

Through one of the marvels of modern Science, I am enabled, this Christmas Day, to speak to all my peoples throughout the Empire. I take it as a good omen that Wireless should have reached its present perfection at a time when the Empire has been linked in closer union. For it offers us immense possibilities to make that union closer still.

These are the opening lines of the first royal Christmas broadcast, made by King George V in 1932, the background to which you can read here.

Illustrating how far communication has come since then, this year’s royal Christmas speech is on YouTube.

Technological advances have made it much easier, and relatively cheaper, to communicate with people all around the world.

When I went on my OE in the early 80s, I made two phone calls home in 11 months. Our daughter’s on her OE now and we chat several times a week via Facetime or skype.

It is much easier for politicians to communicate through their own Facebook and Twitter accounts.

However, how much of these messages go much beyond those already supporting them or political tragics keeping up with the other side is a moot point – at least until they make a SMOG (Social Media Own Goal) when the message is likely to go far further than they’d like.

There is a downside to this easy communication though and that sometimes people ignore the people they’re with while concentrating on phones or other mobile devices.

As Einstein said:

I fear the day that technology will surpass our interaction the world will have a generation of idiots.


Revolutionising the wheel

December 13, 2013

It’s not reinventing the wheel but it is revolutionising it:

Hat tip: CoNZervative


Anyone else having problems?

December 3, 2013

The normally 100% reliable WordPress platform won’t let me use tags or links nor can I schedule posts.

I’ve tried on both a notebook and iPad, using Firefox and Outlook which suggests it’s the platform not anything I’m doing.

Is anyone else experiencing this problem or does anyone else know how to solve it?

UPDATE: whatever was wrong has been righted.


Only in #gigatownoamaru

November 27, 2013

Where else in New Zealand, and maybe the world, do you get a daily penguin report?

If only those penguins could vote to make #gigatownoamaru the first gigatown in the southern hemisphere.


#gigaBOMB for #gigatownoamaru

November 17, 2013

All supporters of #gigatownoamaru are asked to use the weekend’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations to get gigabombing:

Here is a challenge for all of you in #gigatownoamaru! We are starting off with a photo challenge! We want everyone who is attending any event over this weekend in Oamaru to post photos here, we are #GIGABOMBING the town!

A couple of days… ago we asked about you internet speeds in and around Oamaru, how slow were they!!!

We would like you to get out your cameras and phones, take photos of all the Victorians and locals enjoying themselves then upload here the full sized pictures.

Whilst uploading, start counting seconds and tell us how long they took. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS THIS IS HOW WE WILL GET POINTS!

Please comment on the photos, but remember to #gigatownoamaru

We will add the photos to an album for everyone to see along with the names of the photographer, and contact details if you are a professional!

Here is a challenge for all of you in #gigatownoamaru! We are starting off with a photo challenge! We want everyone who is attending any event over theis weekend in Oamaru to post photos here, we are #GIGABOMBING the town! A couple of days ago we asked about you internet speeds in and around Oamaru, how slow were they!!! We would like you to get out your cameras and phones, take photos of all the Victorians and locals enjoying themselves then upload here the full sized pictures. Whilst uploading, start counting seconds and tell us how long they took. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS THIS IS HOW WE WILL GET POINTS! Please comment  on the photos, but remember to #gigatownoamaru  We will add the photos to an album for everyone to see along with the names of the photographer, and contact details if you are a professional!


#gigatownoamaru extends lead

November 16, 2013

The gigatown score board is back up.

It shows #gigatownoamaru in front – still – with 245736 points.

That’s a very satisfying 64,736 ahead of the town in second place.

gigatownoam


Giga gaming?

November 16, 2013

Anyone who’s been checking the gigatown website over the last day or so has been finding something’s up with the scoring.

Instead of going up, as they have been, the tallies for several towns has been going down.

What’s going on?

Chris Keall writes:

Chorus’ Gigatown competition began with a noble aim: to showcase the benefits of Ultrafast Broadband fibre. . .

But now the Gigatown competition has opened it’s home page is … a riot. At first glance, it’s hard to work out what the hell’s going on. . .

A communications professional involved in one town’s bid tells NBR ONLINE, “I know there has been cheating. $200,000 is  at stake and councils are paying people to coordinate the campaigns. Someone in both Oamuru and Porirua set up bots to rack up tweets.”

Chorus did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it seems from social media chatter that both Oamuru and Porirua have had had their totals trimmed. . . .
Oamaru has led from the start and these accusations of giga gaming are refuted on the #gigatownoamaru Facebook page:
. . . Absolutely disgusted with the comment that Oamaru set up bots to automate tweets. I started the competition here in Oamaru as the previous council declined to partake in a meeting with Chorus. The new Council and Mayor, Gary Kircher, are 100% behind their town in this competition.
From the start we have worked with Chorus to define the rules of the competition along with the other competing towns….
At my request, Chorus set up a facebook closed group for the managers to discuss the rules and events. I could see early on the potential for abuse and the social media frenzy that would be created that would become extremely hard for Chorus to manage.
There has been a change in the rules, and Chorus is working at removing points that do not fit within these parameters across the board. Their facebook page clearly states the definition of “spam” which is definitely not what one would expect from a flippant use of the word.
Your comments show little insight into the vigor that the residents of the participating towns are displaying and their enthusiasm at promoting their communities. Yes, a monster is in the process of being created, yet the outcome, whether a town wins or not, will be increased social networking between education, business, local government and the greater community.
The Gigatown Oamaru team has stated from the start that we will play fair, and win a clean fight.
I am incredibly proud of Oamaru, given that little effort with no funding that has taken us to the top of the leaderboard from day 1. This shows a town with huge potential.

The competition has gripped the town and wider district. It’s the number one talking point. Even people who know and care little for social media have got involved  to support their community because they can see the benefits to be gained from becoming the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

So… what does Spam looks like?

To help keep #Gigatown fair, fun and relevant we are regularly sweeping for spam.

No-one likes spam, and the social media platforms we’re using have spam rules of their own that we all need to follow.

So, just to be clear, here is a list of spam-like activity that won’t be counted. . . .

Chorus has a tiger by the tail. It’s important for the company and the integrity of the competition that rules are clear and abided by.

They must be trying to sort it out now because the scoreboard reads:

Time for a regular check under the hood.

We will be back online soon.
But don’t worry your points are still being scored.

 

 


Yes please – but

November 14, 2013

A friend doesn’t remember any computer passwords, she just clicks lost password each time she needs one.

I haven’t gone that far but I’m very near the limit of what I can remember without compromising security with obvious ones like dates of birth and family names.

However, there’s hope in sight for overloaded memories:

Purdue University researchers are working on technology that could see all those passwords that computer users must punch in replaced with steps such as iris and fingerprint scans.

The basement lab of Purdue University’s International Centre for Biometrics Research is where such emerging biometric technologies are tested for weaknesses before going mainstream.

Iris and fingerprint scans as well as facial and voice recognition are just a few of the tools that can improve security while making lives easier, said Stephen Elliott, the centre’s director.

That technology can allow someone to log into a computer or activate a smartphone simply by swiping their fingerprint over a sensor – and eliminate the need to frequently change passwords.

“I think the average person would tell you they have too many passwords and it’s a hassle to change them all the time, and therefore they use the same password for lots of things, which inherently makes that easier to break,” Elliott said. . .

If I was offered that technology I’d say yes please – but there is a but: what happens if you want to allow someone else to access whatever it is the biometric open-sesame applies to?


#gigatownoamaru growing, growing

November 12, 2013

Oamaru, New Zealand’s sharpest town,  has led Chorus’s gigagtown points table from the start.

‘Gigatown’ will be the first town in the Southern hemisphere to access a one gigabit per second (1Gbps) internet connection.

How do we decide who gets to be Gigatown? Actually, we don’t decide – you do.

We’re looking for the town that wants it the most. There’s two ways we’ll be measuring that drive, enthusiasm and determination to be Gigatown:

1. by listening out for the town with the loudest voice on social media; and

2. by tallying up the supporters for each town signing up on this website.

Over the course of the competition, we’ll measure social media and online community engagement in support of each eligible ‘town’.

The town with the loudest voice will be New Zealand’s first Gigatown, and will be well positioned to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand, showcasing how ultra-fast broadband can re-define our economy, reshape how our children learn and change how our communities live, work and play.

Points will be counted up for each town and adjusted relative to the town’s size to become ‘Gigapoints’, which are displayed on this website so you can keep track of your town’s progress. The adjustment for town size ensures that each town has the same opportunity to be the Gigatown.

The five eligible towns with the most points at the end of the initial round will go forward to the finals

When I checked a few minutes ago #gigatownoamaru was more than 40,000 ahead of its nearest rival.

How’s it doing it?

Good, old fashioned community spirit combined with new fashioned technology as people in the town and the wider district and their family and friends use social media – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, . . .  to gain points.

gig 12.11

 


Young Nats first in NZ with Smartphone App

November 11, 2013

The Young Nats are the first youth wing in New Zealand to launch a smartphone App for iPhone and Android.

“We are changing how New Zealanders can connect with politics,” says Young Nats President, Sean Topham.

“Roughly one in every two New Zealanders own a smartphone, and that number is on the rise. It’s the Young Nats who are stepping up and leading the way when it comes to connecting young Kiwis with National,” says Topham.

“Members and supporters up and down the country now have another way of connecting with the latest news and events, as well as taking on an active a role to sign up their friends so that we can build the best grassroots campaign heading into next year’s election.,”

The Young Nats worked with the team at Marker Studio to develop the App.

“We’re pretty sure that no political party in New Zealand has done this yet, and for us it’s just the start,” says Topham.

Download the Young Nats App here:

iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod): http://nzyn.at/17nDtEb

Android: http://nzyn.at/HJmXm8

One of the privileges of being a regional chair for National is working with the youth wing.

They’re a great bunch of intelligent, energetic, passionate and innovative young people and this App is an example of what they’re accomplishing in and for the party.

Their website is here.


What’s the #gigatownoamaru secret?

November 7, 2013

When Chorus launched it’s competition to find New Zealand’s #gigatown, Oamaru lept to the top of the points table, and it’s stayed there.

How is it doing it?

Oamaru Life has the answer:

The Chorus Gigatown campaign is only 9 days old, and yet Oamaru, a town of just 12,000 people with a reputation among New Zealanders as being where “nana lives” has turned out to be a social media barnstormer, producing over 110,000 votes to date, more than 25% of the total number of votes cast so far.

What can possibly account for this success? Well, Oamaru has proven before that when it comes to matters of civic pride, we are second to none. This was amply demonstrated when it came time to vote for New Zealand’s “sharpest town” a few months ago, which Oamaru won handily, mobilising our townspeople and our friends all over the world to vote for us (and then, too, we had more votes than the other five contenders combined).

Another reason for Oamaru’s success is that we are actually a lot more clued-in to social media and the ways of the modern world than our reputation as New Zealand’s “Victorian Town” would suggest. That’s one reason why the NZ government chose Oamaru as one of the two pilot towns to trial online census forms, rather than the traditional mail-in forms, and we wowed them with higher-than expected submission rates.

The campaign has gripped not just the town but the wider district, ex-Oamaruvians living elsewhere and our friends and relations all over the country, and the world as well.

But the competition is only 10 days old.

There’s 50 and a bit weeks to go yet and we welcome more support:

But we can use all the help from our friends around the world to help make Gigatown a reality for us (if you don’t know what’s at stake, one town in New Zealand will be chosen to be wired to the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest internet connection, turning it overnight into a magnet for high-tech investment and into an instant cutting-edge technology hub for the entire region). If you would like to help, here’s what you can do:

1. Go to the Chorus NZ Gigatown website (www.gigatown.co.nz) and click on “Join Up”, where you can register with either your Facebook or Google+ account. Then it will ask you to select the town you support. Please choose Oamaru, since doing so gives us 10 more points just like that!

2. Go to the Oamaru Gigatown Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Gigatown.Oamaru) and post on there, or comment on other posts, but always adding either #gigatownoam or #gigatownoamaru (but not both!) to your comments. It’s important that there be other meaningful text besides that tag, too, since otherwise it may appear to the Chorus watchdogs as an automated post, which would be disqualified.

3. If you’re on Twitter, then post tweets using the hashtags #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam (but again, not both) along with some other text, images, or whatever you like. Each of these will count as a point, as will any retweets of other posts with the same tags.

4. These same hashtags used on other social media platforms count automatically, too, such as Instagram and YouTube. Blogs on WordPress or Tumblr using the hashtags count as well, but only if you have first registered them on the Chorus Gigatown website.

The rules of the competition are subject to change at any time, and there is a lot that is still not 100% clear about the competition, so you might want to sign up for updates on a special site that Oamaru has set up, gigatown.oamaru.org.nz. There you will find all the information you could possibly want about this competition, see all the posts with Oamaru’s hashtags in one place, and generally support us in our bid to be the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest, as well as sharpest, town!

The Oamaru gigatown secret is community spirit and we’re happy for the whole world to be part of that community.


Rural round-up

November 6, 2013

Fonterra 2.0 – Willy Leferink:

There has been more than a little soul searching by Fonterra’s Board. For all the bad press it gets slammed with locally, I can say from the World Dairy Summit in Japan that Fonterra is not just respected; it is admired by many and even feared by some across the world.

With its independent report on the non-botulism scare, Fonterra’s Board dropped a very big hint that things are going to be different going forward in deeds more than words. Given former act leader Rodney Hide admitted in print this year that “politicians leak all the time,” it must have come as a shock to the media that such a critical and sensitive report was kept tight right up until 2pm last Wednesday.

I didn’t have an advance copy just a general heads up so I raced to the internet at the same time as everybody else. There was no leak and nor was it timed to clash with some other event; Honesty 1 v. Spin Doctors 0. Even the media conference was webcast live for anyone to watch anywhere on earth. I don’t want to sound like a commercial here, but wait, there’s more. Critical parts of the report were translated into key languages so I guess Fonterra’s Board did not want there to be any ambiguity.

Yet the words of Jack Hodder, who chaired Fonterra’s independent board inquiry, sticks in my mind – the biggest thing that needs to change within Fonterra is cultural. . .

 Farmers urged to vote in historic meat co-op elections:

Given strong moves to restructure New Zealand’s red meat sector, Federated Farmers is describing the director elections for Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group as historic.

“If you want empowerment in your farming business then as shareholders you need to vote,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson, newly returned from a World Farmers’ Organisation event in Zambia.

“Set against a backdrop of what could be up to three million fewer lambs and declining stock numbers, future generations of farmers will ask current shareholders how they voted. . . .

New sentencing options for polluters not needed, says minister:

The Government has rejected a suggestion that more flexible sentencing options for judges are needed to help the fight against agricultural polluters

In a speech to the Environmental Compliance Conference this week, Environment Court judge Craig Thompson says more imaginative sentencing options could lead to better outcomes for both the environment and farmers.

Judge Thompson suggests that judges should have the power to shut down the worst offenders altogether.

He says those farmers or farm companies place a huge burden on the enforcement and prosecution resources of councils that are unfortunate enough to have them as ratepayers. . .

Fonterra and Tatua paths might cross in Australian tangle:

Cross-ownership and joint ventures could see two New Zealand rivals working together depending on the outcome of wrangling for ownership of an Australian dairy company.

Dairy companies throughout the world often own a stake in competitors or operate joint ventures, an Australian analyst Jon Hauser of XCheque says.

“There’s a whole range of commercial joint ventures and ownership structures between private companies and private companies, and private companies and co-operatives,” Hauser said. . .

Fleeced: 160 sheep stolen from field near village of Wool – Adam Withnall:

Dorset police are appealing for witnesses after 160 sheep were stolen from a field near the village of Wool.

The rustlers are thought to have had to use a large lorry to move the animals, which were all marked and electronically tagged.

Police said the incident took place between 8am on Saturday 2 November and 2.30pm on Monday, at the field which lies next to the A352 between Wool and the nearby village of East Stoke. . .

 

Gigatown competiton could benefit a rural town:

Farmers see the benefits for their rural town if it were to win Chorus’s year-long competition to bring the fastest broadband speed to one New Zealand town

FWPlus followers tweeted that it could have both indirect and direct benefits for farmers.

“Fantastic urban internet will help rural communities indirectly by helping their towns thrive,” @AaronJMeikle tweeted

The one-gigabit per second broadband speeds – up to 100 times faster than most cities around the globe – would act as a magnet and attract businesses to relocate to that town, he tweeted.

Another direct benefit, he tweeted, was that it would provide services that fitted farmers’ time constraints.

This is why I’m supporting #gigatownoamaru


#gigatownoamaru

November 2, 2013

Oamaru is already New Zealand’s Sharpest town and the country’s Steampunk capital.

We’re doing our best to make #gigatownoamaru the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest town as the first gigatown too.

Photo: Who knows where this is? #gigatownoamaru

The image was created by Golding Arts, and published with his permission, please respect the copyright.


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