Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run


It’s Bruce Springsteen’s birthday too.

I remember dancing to Born to Run many years ago – would it have been the late 70s or early 80s?

NZ aims for global alliance on ag emissions


Remember when non-smoking regulations first came in?

Half a room would be reserved for smokers and the other half for non-smokers.

It was a nonsense because even if smokers stuck to their side of the room their smoke didn’t.

Trying to tackle carbon emissions in some countries but not others is similarly stupid. If there’s a problem with emissions it’s a global one and reduction policies and remedies must take a global approach.

John Key recognises this and is using his time in New York to promote a Global Alliance on agricultural emissions.

“To feed the world’s growing population, we must find ways to produce more food without growing emissions,” says Mr Key.

“It will be agriculture that will have to meet the expected dramatic increase in global food demand over the coming decades, but this presents the world with the twin challenge of ensuring food security while reducing emissions.

“To meet this challenge, there is an urgent need for more international research and investment into new technologies and practices to help reduce agriculture-related emissions, and for greater co-ordination of existing efforts.

“New Zealand considers a Global Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research could meet this need and welcomes partners in this initiative.

Former Environment Minister Simon Upton has been appointed as a special envoy to work with other countries on this concept.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says New Zealand is well placed to make a significant contribution to the alliance.

“Our unique profile for a developed country, with almost half of all emissions coming from agriculture, has given us a firm foothold in understanding pastoral livestock emissions.

“Through a Global Alliance, we can find solutions faster, make better use of the money that is being spent around the world and encourage other countries and companies to do more,” says Mr Carter.

Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser said that food security is paramount and must not be compromised.

Mid-week Music


It’s Eric Boggle’s Bogle’s birthday.

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda is probably his best known song.

Quote of the day


“I was black before I was elected president”

Barrack Obama response to a question on the Letterman Show over whether opposition to his health plan was racist.

Did you see the one about . . .


Friday motivation: Life = Risk  at Motella.

The Year 2050 at No Minister where Gooner says it’s time to cut to the core.

The daffy ambition of turning gold to blue – Alf Grumble digs up some facts on bulb breeding.

That was my suggestion! – Kiwiblog looks at negotiations on the 3 strikes policy.

Sensible shoes a safety issue – the Hand Mirror discusses heels high & low.

More court secrecy – Stephen Franks isn’t impressed by name suppression.

Wowser Alert! Destroy all those cute photos of the kids!!!! – Opinionated Mummy calls for common sense.

Get your free immigration advice here!! – Monkey with Typewriter wasn’t impressed with the service.

Govt spending down


It’s definitely too early to celebrate the end of the recession.

But the weak growth in the June quarter is a relief and we can be very pleased that government spending is down.

The dead weight of government spending which grew so much from 1999 was one of the factors which put New Zealand into recession early and until it’s addressed it will hold back the recovery.

A .4% decline isn’t much, but it’s a welcome change in direction.

The Visible Hand points out that real gross national disposable income – RGNDI – is a better indicator of our economic health than GDP.

Bah humbug!



On Monday, one of our staff mentioned how many days it was until Christmas. Don’t ask me how many it was. I shut my ears because I don’t want to think about it in September.

Then this morning, on Breakfast, there was a discussion about shops bringing out the Christmas stock.

Aaaaah again.

The C word in Christmas used to be Christ. They could have dropped that and still kept the good things like caring and compassion, but now it’s just commercialism.

I don’t have a problem with other people making money but if they’re going to do it around a festival, couldn’t they wait until a wee bit closer to the date?

When they pump up the artificial Christmas spirit this early it brings out my inner Scrooge.

Bah humbug!

Reasonable costs or ridiculous?


Individuals and businesses aren’t the only ones to have problems with the time and expense involved in negotiating their way through the resource consent process.

Over at Waitaki Blog, Waitaki District Deputy Mayor Gary Kircher posts on the difficulties the Waitaki District Council had with Environment Canterbury when trying to renew a water consent for the township of Otematata:

This is a township with approximately 450 ratepayers. It had a consent to take water, nothing substantive had changed and the consequences of the consent being refused was the death of a township.

The application was made in 2001. 8 years later and at a cost of $70,000, we have received a consent. $40,000 of that cost is the amount Ecan charged us for processing the application. The remainder is largely consultant fees, which I suspect should be largely unnecessary for a renewal where the environmental effects are known and fully understood.

If it takes 8 years and $70,000 to renew an existing consent where nothing substantive has changed, how much does it cost and how long would it take to process a new consent application or an existing one where there had been significant changes?

If this a reasonable recovery of costs, they need to look at what they do and how they do it. Incurring those sorts of expensives for processing something which should be simple appears to be nearer the ridiculous end of the reasonable spectrum.

On the subject of Ecan, the vote of no confidence in chair Sir Kerry Burke is scheduled for the council’s meeting tomorrow. The Press discusses that in an editorial.



The 6mm of rain we got yesterday dampened the dust and the temperature has dropped in its wake.

We woke to a frost this morning.

Apropos of that, another moan about the early introduction of daylight saving:

Clocks go forward this coming Sunday. It’s too soon, it’s too cold.

We’ve got only 12 hours of daylight at this time of year. It doesn’t matter what the clocks say, it isn’t summer yet.

I Day


Our earliest I Day – the start of irrigation was August 9 when an autumn drought had been followed by very little winter rain.

In a good season we can get through to November before we have to start watering.

This year, our neighbours who have more north facing paddocks, started irrigating at the end of last month and we started a couple of weeks ago.

We’ve had good spring growth. A wettish winter, by our 20 inch/480 ml annual rainfall standards, and warm weather in August was just what the pastures needed. It was also good for calving and lambing with none of the stormy weather which give new born stock a tough start. But no rain and some strong nor westers in the last few weeks have dried out the top soil.

It started raining quite heavily yesterday afternoon which led to a drop in temperature but not enough moisture to do much good.

A little more would be welcome – but not the 16mm in 30 minutes deluge which occurred  In A Strange Land.

September 23 in history


On September 23:

480 BC Greek playwright Euripides was born.


1846 the planet Neptune was discovered by French astronomer Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier.

Neptune from Voyager 2 Neptune from Voyager 2

1869 Mary Mallon, also known as Typhoid Mary the first person in the USA to be indentified as a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever was born.
1887 Tongariro mountains were gifted to the Crown by Ngati Tuwharetoa.
1920 US actor Mickey Rooney was born.
1930 US musician Ray Charles was born.
1939 English cricket commentator Henry Blofeld was born.
1943 Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was born.
1944 Australian singer & song writer Eric Bogle was born.

Bogle with John Munro in Watford during their 2009 farewell tour
1949 US singer Bruce Springsteen was born.
1973 Juan Perón  returned to power in Argentina.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia. 

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