Saturday’s smiles

September 19, 2009

This seemed appropriate for Women’s Suffrage Day:

A couple had made a deal that if one died before the other he or she would come back to let the surviving partner know about the after life.

It was the woman who died first. A few weeks later she popped back to chat for a brief chat with her grieving husband.

She told him she was in heaven and everything there was great.

“What about God?” her husband asked.

“Ah yes, I’ve got a surprise for you,” the wife replied. She’s Maori.”


SFF needs a plan B

September 19, 2009

Silver Fern Farms is putting a positive spin on the decision to extend the deadline for farmers to take up its share exchange and cash issue offer.

The chairman of the meat co-operative, Eion Garden, said 37% of shares had been exchanged so far and “a significant number” of shareholders had taken up or exceeded their full cash issue entitlement.

The company had hoped to raise at least $80 million, but with a flood of applications arriving before yesterday’s deadline, more expected over the weekend and the clash with lambing, the deadline had been extended until October 9, Mr Garden said.

I don’t think lambing has anything to do with it. The company obviously didn’t get the support they hoped for. The Press  says the maximum that can be raised is $128m but so far only 12 million new shares at $1 each have been bought by farmer-suppliers.

 The extended deadline might pick up a bit more shahreholder support but it won’t deliver the amount the co-operative needs and the directors will have to look for a plan B.

It hasn’t been a good year for the company.

Alliance Group shareholders turned down the Meat Industry Action Group’s plan for a merger with SFF. PGG Wrightson couldn’t come up with the cash for the 50% buy in it had proposed; and the $10 million PGW shares SFF took as part of their compensation for that are worth little more than half that amount now.

The season ahead won’t be easy either.

Demand for lamb in export markets is firm which is holding prices up. But the strength of the demand is on the back of falling supply caused by drought in Australia and New Zealand and the large number of dairy conversions here.

Fewer sheep to kill exacerbates the over supply of killing space. SFF did some rationalisation last year but the industry as a whole still has excess capacity.

It has been a good season for lambing. The weather has been pretty mild and survival rates have been high. Spring grass growth has been good too but most of the east coast is very dry which will put pressure on feed and bring stock on to the market.

But farmers are spoiled for choice when it comes to meat companies and if they aren’t prepared to invest more in SFF it’s an indication they may well look elsewhere for killing space.


Doc not always access-friendly

September 19, 2009

One of the reasons cited for surrendering pastoral lease land to the crown is that the public will have better access than when it’s under private control.

However, that’s not always the case.

Friends went through tenure review. Part of the land that went back to the crown had been used for an annual mountain bike race. It had been run for years and the farmers had never charged the organisers.

Once the land came under Doc control the race organisers were charged for access which meant they then had to charge race participants more. The race then became too expensive for some people and the organisers were considering canning it.

Doc may well be acting in a fiscally responsible manner in trying to offset some of the costs of looking after the vast tracts of land which had been taken back under public control. As a taxpayer I don’t have a problem with that, but it does show that when it comes to access the theory that public ownership = good and private ownership = bad isn’t necessarily so.

Apropos of this, the ODT reports that film makers are complaining that filming on land administered by DOC is becoming increasingly fraught.

Filming on conservation land is becoming so difficult that some parts of The Lord of Rings movies would not be able to be filmed if they were being made today, Film New Zealand chairman Julian Grimmond says.

That film and others which showcase New Zealand’s stunning scenery are wonderful advertisements for the country which attract tourists. It would be a pity if access problems compromised this wonderful opportunity for free publicity.

Not all of land suitable for filming is under Doc control and film makers may be able to find alternative sites. But given the transient nature of filming you’d think it would be possible to allow access without compromising any conservation values or causing any serious conflicts of interests with other visitors.


Aaarr me hearties

September 19, 2009

Shiver me timbers, they’re all making a fuss about giving women the vote but  let’s not forget it’s also International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

 
International Talk Like a Pirate Day

10 reasons why women should have the vote

September 19, 2009

Over at In A Strange Land Deborah has a list of 10 reasons why the women of New Zealand should have the vote.

They came from a leaflet published by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and include:

4. Because women are less accessible than men to most of the debasing influences now brought to bear upon elections, and by doubling the number of electors to be dealt with, women would make bribery and corruption less effective, as well as more difficult.

5. Because in the quietude of home women are less liable than men to be swayed by mere party feeling, and are inclined to attach great value to uprightness and rectitude of life in a candidate.

6. Because the presence of women at the polling-booth would have a refining and purifying effect.

7. Because the votes of women would add weight and power to the more settled and responsible communities.

8. Because women are endowed with a more constant solicitude for the welfare of the rising generations, thus giving them a more far-reaching concern for something beyond the present moment.

9. Because the admitted physical weakness of women disposes them to exercise more habitual caution, and to feel a deeper interest in the constant preservation of peace, law, and order, and especially in the supremacy of right over might.

How could you argue with that?


Women’s Suffrage Day

September 19, 2009

We’ve come a long way since September 19, 1993 1893 when Governor Glasgow signed the Electoral Bill  giving women the right to vote.

                                                 


Another 20c for milk?

September 19, 2009

Agrifax has revised its forecast for Fonterra’s payout up 20 cents to $4.85 per kilo of milk solids.

It’s giving the credit to booming prices for casein and anhydrous milkfat which could offset lower milkpowder prices.

In case you were wondering, casein is a protein which is used in other foods as a binding agent. Anhydrous milkfat is made by removing almost all the moisture and nonfat solids from cream. It’s used in bakery, confectionery, ice cream, other consumer products and for recombination with skimmed milk powder to produce liquid milk and other milk products


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