Kiwiblog posted on Nancy Wake’s birthday this morning and put the case for her to get a New Zealand honour.
This afternoon John Key was asked about that at his post-cabinet press conference (at about 16 minutes).
NZ History Online says book month is September.
But an email has alerted me to the news it has been postponed and New Zealand Book Month is being celebrated in October this year.
Because of that, I’m postponing the challenge to post on a NZ book a day until October.
I’ll do a reminder towards the end of September.
Lambing used to be the busiest and most satisfying time on our farming calender. But since we changed from breeding to finishing stock several years ago it is now just something we observe over other people’s fences.
It wasn’t easy and I don’t miss the bad seasons when wet and cold weather proved too much for new-born animals and the slink piles mounted up at gates. But I do miss the pets.
I had occasional contact with pet lambs as a child during visits to farms when we town kids delighted in feeding orphans but it wasn’t until I spent a year on Great Mercury Island that I had one of my own.
The first was so frail when rescued she couldn’t even bleat. I called her Hush. It was a name which was not without irony when she regained her voice and made good use of it under my window at dawn.
The next orphan I adopted was the ugliest lamb I’ve ever seen but what he lacked in looks was more than compensated for by character. He loved people and whenever he heard voices he’d turn up to share the action.
Unfortunately he had no respect for privacy or property and came to an untimely end after wandering into a farm worker’s house once too often.
When I married my farmer several years later easy-care lambing had been introduced on the theory that mortality was lower when sheep were left to their own devices than when disturbed by people. Some strays still turned up at home to be warmed and fed but as soon as they were fit enough they were taken back to the paddock to be mothered-up with ewes whose own lambs had died.
However, easy-care lambing or not one of the pleasures of growing up on a farm is having a pet lamb so once our daughter was old enough to look after one we adopted an orphan each spring.
How long they stayed after weaning depended on the strength of fences separating farm and house because once a pet found its way into the garden it would be banished to the back paddock.
But Rainbow was an exception, partly because by the time she arrived a stone wall provided a sheep-proof barrier between the lamb paddock and the garden but also because she was special.
Rainbow turned up with several other orphans and from the start she stood out from the flock. There was something about her appearance and behavior that told us this was no ordinary lamb.
If it’s possible for a sheep to have personality then Rainbow did. She was gregarious, engaging and great company. When we were in the garden which bordered her patch or at the clothesline over her fence Rainbow would appear and greet us with a friendly “baa”.
A veteran of four school pet shows she had an impressive collection of awards including winner of the lead and drink race and the fancy dress competition. She also performed for visitors, answering to her name when called, taking food from our hands and posing for photos like a professional.
Maternity complications in her third spring nearly proved fatal but despite my farmer muttering about “dragging a vet out to a pet sheep”, professional care from one who happened to be attending a cow on the property at the time ensured she pulled through and delivered a healthy lamb.
The new mother, her lamb and Cecil, the previous year’s pet, formed a happy trio until one day when, to our great distress, we discovered Rainbow dead in the paddock.
There were other lambs in subsequent springs but none has been quite like Rainbow.
1. Who wrote Among the Cinders?
2. Who said: We are biologically engineered to have the wonder filtered out of out lives, to learn to take astonishing things for granted, so that we don’t waste too much energy on being surpised but get on with the eating and mating, gardening, feeding cats, complaining about taxes or being pleased about economic recovery . . . “?
3. How many NZ Prime Ministers have died in office?
4. Where did the Great Fire of London start?
5. Who invented the cat flap?
Farmers voted yes and no in Meat & Wool’s referendum on levies.
They voted for the continuation of levies on sheepmeat and beef but against the continuation of a wool or goatmeat levy.
M&W chairman Mike Peterson said the referendum sent a clear message there was significant dissatisfaction with past investments and the organisation needs to do better.
Under the Commodity Levies Act 1990 (CLA), each levy proposal must pass on both a one farmer one vote test, and also on a weighted or stock unit test. All of the levy streams passed on a weighted basis, but the wool and goatmeat levies were defeated on a one farmer one vote test.
That means the peo0ple with the most stock, who pay the biggest levies were outvoted by those with fewer stock who pay less.
The wool levy would have contributed $6.4 million to Meat and Wool’s budget and the goatmeat slaughter levy would have provided $58,000. The loss of both means the organisation will have to restructure.
The loss of the wool levy will have the biggest impact. Meat and Wool will have to curtail, and possibly stop, some of its core activities. Among these are on farm research, monitor farms and extension, shearer and wool handling training, Sheep Improvement Ltd (SIL), and the collection and provision of information relating to the wool industry by the Meat & Wool New Zealand Economic Service.
The current levy orders for sheepmeat, beef, goatmeat and wool are in place until April 2010.
Perhaps the winner was apathy – only 39.0% (7,820 participants) bothered to vote.
The results were:
One Person: One Vote Stock Numbers
Sheepmeat Levy YES 3,280 53.72% 50,071 62.46%
NO 2,826 46.28% 30,090 37.54%
Beef Levy YES 3,566 51.52% 31,919 59.32%
NO 3,356 48.48% 21,888 40.68%
Goatmeat Levy YES 118 46.83% 228 52.29%
NO 134 53.17% 208 47.71%
Wool Levy YES 2,794 45.76% 44,193 55.13%
NO 3,312 54.24% 35,968 44.87%
Agriculture Minsiter David Carter says the result is a blow for the industry.
Agriculture Minister David Carter says the decision by farmers not to support the continuation of a wool levy is disappointing and will create difficulties for the industry.
“I respect the democratic process and the right for farmers to decide, but I am concerned that the ramifications of this decision have not been fully realised.
“The result of the referendum on the Meat & Wool NZ levy gives a clear go-ahead for the meat sector, but effectively leaves the wool industry without a mandated industry-good body at a time when this is desperately needed.
A factor those who voted no may not have understood is that it will now be very difficult for the industry to access funds from the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership initiative.
He was driving along a straight stretch of road when a car shot past.
He turned into a side road and moments later saw flashing lights in his rear view mirror.
He stopped, wound down his window and waited for the police officer who told him to hand over his licence because he’d been clocked at 143 kilometres an hour which meant an instant loss of licence.
The driver said he hadn’t been going that fast.
The cop said he had.
The driver said, “A car shot past me just before I turned, you’ve got the wrong vehicle officer.”
“The cop said, “No I haven’t, it was you.”
The driver said it wasn’t him, the cop said it was.
The driver said, “Call your chief out from town. It wasn’t me, I’m not giving you my licence.”
The cop walked around the ute, checked the tyres, warrant of fitness, registration and road miles, returned to the window and asked for the licence again.
The driver said, “Look officer, you can see this is an old ute. It couldn’t go 143 kilometres an hour down hill with a tail wind. You’ve got the wrong vehicle.”
The cop looked at him, he looked back.
The cop blinked first and said, “You can go, but I know it was you.”
The driver in the ute drove off, the cop drove off and somewhere the driver of another car might still have been travelling at 143 kph.
On August 31:
1894 The Arbitration Act became law, a flagship policy of Richard Seddon’s Liberal government, made New Zealand the first country in the world to outlaw strikes in favour of compulsory arbitration.
1918: US lyracist Alan Jay Lerner was born.
1940: Australian actor Jack Thompson was born.
1945 The Australian Liberal Party was formed by Robert Menzies.
1945 Irish musician Van Morrison was born.
1949 US actor Richard Gere was born.
1957 The Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gained its independence from Britain.
1962 Trinadad and Tobago became independent.
1974 Prime Minsiter Norman Kirk died.
1991 Kyrgyzstan declared its independence from the USSR.
1994 The Provisional Irish Republican Army declared a cease fire.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.
Another reason to miss Keeping Stock: sports talk.
This isn’t an attempt to replace the updates and commentary he used to provide, but Mahe Drysdale’s fourth single sculls gold medal in a row at the World Rowing Champs deserves a mention.
Hamish Bond and Eric Murray also won gold in the men’s coxless pairs.
New Zealand gained two more golds when Duncan Grant and the lightweight double of Storm Uru and Peter Taylor won their races. The women’s pair of Rebecca Scown and Emma Feathery won a bronze medal.