Enterprising Rural Woman finalists announced


Rural Women NZ has announced three finalists for its inaugural Enterprising Rural Woman Award.

They are Bev Forrester of ‘Blackhills’, Jan Bolton of Kaingaroa Roading Contractors Limited and Jenny Bargh and Kiri and Kath Elworthy of Tora Coastal Walk.

The contest attracted 46 entries . The finalists will be judged by Theresa Gattung of Wool Partners International, Amber Quinnell of the BNZ, which is sponsoring the Award, and RWNZ’s National President, Margaret Chapman.

Sitting on the Fence


The  story of how Michael Luenig stopped drawing political cartoons and doing the work for which he is now famous is an act of creative rebellion which appeals to me:

One Saturday morning in 1969, struggling towards a deadline and trying to draw a cartoon about the Vietname war, a strange thing happened to me. In an act of merry insolence; as a small rebellion against deadlines, punchlines and politics I sidestepped my obligations and the grave topic in hand and drew what I thought was an absurd, irresponsible triviality. Tempting fate, I presented it to the editor for publication.

It showed a man riding towards the sunset on a large duck. On his head he wore a teapot. Not a ‘proper’ cartoon by conventional standards, quite loopy in fact, but a joyous image nevertheless.

The editor told me he didn’t know what it meant but laughed, shook his head and published it. I suspect that deep down, to my good fortune, he understood.

I don’t know if deep down I always understand, but even if I don’t, I laugh and contemplate and enjoy Leunig’s words and pictures.

This Friday’s poem comes from his collection, Poems 1972 – 2002, published by Viking.

Sitting on the Fence


Come sit down beside me


I said to myself,


And although it doesn’t make sense,


I held my own hand


As a small sign of trust


And together I sat on the fence.

  – Michael Leunig –

Fish oil cuts the gas


If this had been published a couple of days later I’d have put it down to April Fools Day but I think its genuine.

Scientists have found that fish oil reduces burps  in cows.

Researchers from University College Dublin found however, by adding two per cent of fish oil to the animal’s feed the amount of methane is reduced by around a fifth.

The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oils can also help the heart and circulatory system and improve meat quality.

Speaking at the Society for General Microbiology meeting in Harrogate, Dr Lorraine Lillis, one of the researchers, said the study could help the agriculture industry cut emissions.

She said: “The fish oil affects the methane-producing bacteria in the rumen part of the cow’s gut, leading to reduced emissions.

Adding fish oil to feed for cattle in feedlots probably isn’t difficult, it may take a bit of ingenuity to get it into cattle which graze pasture as they do in New Zealand. It would also have to be done reasonably cheaply because added costs will be resisted by farmers and consumers.

Hat Tip: Fairfacts Media by email

When you’re weary . . .


Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits was the first LP I ever bought and Bridge Over Troubled Water has remained one of my favourite songs.

They’re sure to be singing that when they’re in Auckland for a concert in June. I don’t know if I’ll be there, but it’s definitely on my wish-list.


Bomber has written a haiku to celebrate 

Zen Tiger posts on the sounds of unsilence. 

Let’s forget the sheep while we brew a cuppa


You’ve been up since before dawn to muster, you’ve walked or ridden for an hour or more, the dogs are doing what they should, the sheep have been moving smoothly but now they’re not so keen on going where you want them to and if you aren’t careful they’ll be going astray.

You look at you watch and notice it’s time for a 10 minute break.

So what do you do?

If you use your common sense you carry on and take a break later, when you need one and can do so without it interfering with the job in hand.

Whether or not you’d be in your rights to ignore common sense, forget the sheep and brew yourself a cup of tea in the wake of the new regulations over meal breaks has been concerning farmers. But Frenemy has read the fine pirnt and reckons there’s no cause for concern because it’s just touchy feely legislation :

What is a rest break?
The legislation does not define the term rest break, but the intent of a rest break is to ensure that employees have the opportunity for rest and refreshment, and to attend to personal needs. The details as to how an employee’s work might be managed and the level of connection they need to have with their work while on their rest break will depend on the type of job that the employee does. For this reason, it is best that an employer and employee discuss how work will be managed during the break.

In other words it was the previous government meddling where no meddling was needed because this is what happens in most workplaces now.

Good employers, who are the majority, know staff need regular breaks it they are to work safely and well, good employees, who are also the majority, are prepared to take breaks at convenient times. 

So this legislation was introduced for a minority of bad employers and employees who will ignore or get round the law anyway.

Pretty late


It’s pretty, but at 7.40am it’s an hour later than I’d like it to be:


Like Somethingshouldgohere I’m not enjoying the extended daylight savings because the extra hour of light in the evening doesn’t compensate for the cold and dark in the morning.

We don’t really need daylight saving in the south because of extended summer twilights. Although having daylight until 10ish in mid summer has its good points and I accept that in the north where it gets darker earlier in summer the extra hour of light makes a positive difference.

But by autumn I’d rather have an earlier sunrise than a late sunset. By now the extra hour of light in the evening comes over the dinner hour when I’m unlikely to be outside to enjoy it so Sunday’s reversion to standard time can’t come soon enough.

The Herald asked readers if daylight saving has gone on too long and got a range of views.

For the record, tables from the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ show sunrise and sun set times for the year:

Date Auckland Wellington Christchurch Dunedin
NZDT Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set
Jan 1 06:05 20:43 05:51 20:57 05:52 21:14 05:51 21:31
Jan 11 06:13 20:43 06:01 20:56 06:02 21:12 06:02 21:29
Jan 21 06:24 20:40 06:12 20:51 06:14 21:06 06:15 21:23
Jan 31 06:35 20:33 06:25 20:43 06:28 20:57 06:30 21:12
Feb 10 06:46 20:24 06:38 20:32 06:42 20:45 06:45 20:59
Feb 20 06:56 20:12 06:50 20:18 06:55 20:30 07:00 20:43
Mar 2 07:06 19:59 07:02 20:03 07:09 20:14 07:14 20:25
Mar 12 07:16 19:45 07:14 19:47 07:21 19:57 07:28 20:07
Mar 22 07:25 19:30 07:25 19:30 07:33 19:39 07:42 19:47
Apr 1 07:34 19:15 07:36 19:14 07:45 19:21 07:55 19:28
In 2009 NZDT will end on the first Sunday of April, that is 5 April 2009.
Date Auckland Wellington Christchurch Dunedin
NZST Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set
Apr 11 06:42 18:01 06:46 17:57 06:57 18:04 07:08 18:10
Apr 21 06:51 17:48 06:57 17:42 07:09 17:47 07:21 17:52
May 1 07:00 17:36 07:07 17:28 07:20 17:32 07:34 17:36
May 11 07:08 17:26 07:18 17:16 07:32 17:20 07:46 17:22
May 21 07:16 17:18 07:27 17:07 07:42 17:10 07:58 17:11
May 31 07:24 17:13 07:36 17:01 07:51 17:03 08:08 17:03
Jun 10 07:30 17:11 07:42 16:58 07:58 16:59 08:15 16:59
Jun 20 07:33 17:11 07:47 16:58 08:03 16:59 08:20 16:59
Jun 30 07:35 17:14 07:48 17:01 08:04 17:02 08:21 17:02
Jul 10 07:33 17:19 07:46 17:07 08:01 17:09 08:18 17:09
Jul 20 07:29 17:26 07:40 17:15 07:55 17:17 08:11 17:18
Jul 30 07:22 17:33 07:31 17:24 07:46 17:27 08:01 17:29
Aug 9 07:12 17:41 07:20 17:33 07:33 17:37 07:47 17:40
Aug 19 07:00 17:50 07:07 17:43 07:19 17:48 07:32 17:52
Aug 29 06:47 17:58 06:52 17:53 07:03 17:59 07:14 18:05
Sep 8 06:33 18:06 06:35 18:03 06:45 18:10 06:56 18:17
Sep 18 06:18 18:14 06:18 18:13 06:27 18:21 06:36 18:29
In 2009 NZDT will start on the last Sunday of September, that is 27 September 2009.
Date Auckland Wellington Christchurch Dunedin
NZDT Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set
Sep 28 07:02 19:22 07:01 19:23 07:09 19:32 07:17 19:42
Oct 8 06:47 19:30 06:44 19:34 06:51 19:44 06:58 19:55
Oct 18 06:33 19:39 06:28 19:45 06:34 19:56 06:39 20:08
Oct 28 06:21 19:49 06:14 19:57 06:18 20:09 06:22 20:22
Nov 7 06:10 20:00 06:01 20:09 06:05 20:22 06:07 20:37
Nov 17 06:02 20:10 05:51 20:21 05:54 20:36 05:55 20:51
Nov 27 05:57 20:20 05:44 20:33 05:46 20:48 05:46 21:05
Dec 7 05:55 20:30 05:41 20:43 05:42 20:59 05:42 21:17
Dec 17 05:56 20:37 05:42 20:51 05:43 21:08 05:42 21:26
Dec 27 06:01 20:42 05:47 20:56 05:48 21:13 05:47 21:30

Super city oxymoronic


Down here, that mass north of the Bombay Hills where more than a quarter of our population crawls along congested roads is already one city and the boundaries between local bodies appear to be academic.

However, it’s rarely regarded as super.

People closer to the action – or inaction if you happen to be caught in a traffic jam – have another view, or indeed a range of views, of the metropolis and how many mayors it takes to run it.

However, premature though it might be given a decision on Auckland’s future form is some time away, books have opened on who’s likely to be the mayor should the little municipalities become one and my money is on Jam Hipkins:

Into the ring my hat I fling.
As Lord Mayor of the City
Imposing rules, ignoring fools
Decisive, tough … and gritty
I’ll put the wind up this city’s sails
As helmsman of your galleon
For, ‘pon my blood
This Mayoral stud
Will stand as your Lord Stallion
Bestriding all those lesser Mayors
Like Sir Tristram (wearing trousers)
I’ll bring you aid
On my Hero’s Parade
And terrify the wowsers
Lord Stallion, Super City – ME!!!!!
No tosser North Shore prick
You want it? YES!!!!
Then come, my friends
Sir Hipkins needs your tick!!!!!!!

Affco rehires workers


A sharp drop in the sheep population following last summer’s drought and the drop in the number of capital stock because of dairy conversions is expected to shorten the killing season.

However the news isn’t all bad for freezing workers.

Affco’s Wanganui freezing works has had such an influx of lambs they’ve rehired 260 workers who were laid off three weeks ago.

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