Still only 9/10


Still only 9/10 in the Dominion Posts’ political quiz – and one of the 9 was a guess.

Kiwiblog got another perfect score.

Mid Week Music


Argentinean singer, Mercedes Sosa, sings Gracias a la Vida – thank you to life.

Burst bubbles boost aroma of bubbly


The bubles in bubbly aren’t just there for fun, they have a function:

A team of researchers in Europe has found that Champagne’s bursting bubbles not only tickle the nose, they also create a mist that wafts the aroma to the drinker.

“I love the idea that such a wonderful and subtle mechanism acts right under our nose during Champagne tasting. In a single Champagne glass, there is as much food for the mind as pleasure for your senses,” said researcher Gerard Liger-Belair of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France.
That’s not the sort of research to be sniffed at.

Counting the cost of the snow


The south has had reasonable weather for lambing and calving.

Even after last weekend’s cold snap there haven’t been reports of many stock losses.

It’s been much tougher in the Central North Island.

“This brutally cold southerly flow couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hawke’s Bay farmers. There’s a massive risk that the combination of snow and cold winds could put stress on newborn livestock,” says Kevin Mitchell, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay president.

“Several Hawke’s Bay farmers are in the middle of late lambing and sadly, some newborns may perish in the freezing conditions. The snow has unfortunately hit at a critical time in the farming cycle. Farmers I have spoken to worked through the night in order to save as many lambs as possible.

This unseasonal snow comes after a very dry autumn and in the face of falling prices.

Lambs which would have sold for $90 last summer are expected to fetch only $70 this year. Demand is high and supplies are low, but the high dollar is being blamed for depressing returns to farmers.

A River Rules My Life


 Mona Anderson’s story of life on Mount Algidus Station, in Canterbury is another of those I remember when I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself.

 A River Rules My Life, recounts adventures and day to day trials of high country life and the people who lived there.

It wasn’t an easy life but the author tells the story with humour and without any self pity.


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Post  7 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.


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Over at Rob’s Blockhead, Rob posts on The Lovelock Version by Maurice Shadbolt.

Deborah at In A Strange Land has been reading The Biggest Number in the Universe by Julie Leibrich illustrated by Ross Kaird.

Milk price up 5.7%


The price for wholemilk went up 5.7%  to US$3,022 per tonnein this morning’s globalDairyTrade (gDT) auction.

Fonterra chairman Henry Van der Heyden, says the lift shows an expected firming in pricing as the market rebalances.

He also says that overall production is up around 2% on last year. The North Island is up slightly and the South Island’s up nearly 8% to date.

The South Island increase reflects more conversions rather than more per farm, I think.

ETS ball and chain on ag – AbacusBio


The proposed ETS will add costs to agriculture but not necessarily reduce any greenhouse gases,  a report by Dunedin consultants AbacusBio says.

The report said that rather than being a gun to the head of agriculture as described by its critics, the emission trading scheme as proposed would be a “ball and chain dragging farmers down”. . .

. . . AbacusBio consultant and report co-author Peter Amer said while processors would have to collect a levy on every kilogram or raw product handled to cover the sector’s ETS obligations, it would not be an incentive for farmers to reduce their emissions.

He said it would need a costly bureaucracy and lead to inaccurate accounting because it would be difficult to match the number of breeding stock born on farms with the number of cull stock killed.

The AbacusBio report suggests allowing farmers to opt into the scheme and to prove they have lowered emissions.

“Well-organised and motivated farmers on medium to large-sized farms opting in and reducing emissions would become the innovators leading a change in industry farming practices,” the report said.

Benefits to these farmers would need to exceed the bureaucratic cost, but it would also be a test of emission reducing technology and practices, and help develop emissions assessment and auditing practices.

And there’s the difficulty – the costs are likely to be high and we have yet to get the tools to reduce emissions.

Dr Amer noted only four of the 34 recommendations made to the government by the ETS review committee related to agriculture.

This indicated the sector lacked political clout, but he said it was political reality that our customers in Europe, the United States and Asia were “embracing climate change issues,” even though our competitors were unlikely to face comparable levies.

“It will be critical that we claim the moral high ground on the social and ethical integrity of our products, and in this way claw back some of the disadvantages of our agricultural ETS.”

Our most important industry lack political clout, climate change issues are the cause de jour and no-one else is including agriculture in their ETS.

How do we claim the moral high ground and at what cost?

Feds seeks post-cordon debrief


Federated Farmers wants a debriefing with police and Fonterra after farmers were unable to return to their properties to tend stock during the hunt for fugitive gunman David Bourke.

This is not a criticism of any individual police officer, but it seems some very strange decisions were made throughout the course of this incident,” says David Hunt, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay Dairy chairperson.

“Although the two-day manhunt for fugitive David Bourke was extraordinary, such events are sadly becoming more common. You need look no further than Napier gunman Jan Molenaar’s three-day siege with police in May.

“In the case of Norsewood, however, I have to question some of the decisions made by the police when dealing with an incident in a rural area. Not allowing farmers access to their properties to milk and check on newborn calves puts the welfare of nearly every animal within the cordon in jeopardy.

“Farmers have a strict obligation to the Animal Welfare Act and codes of practice. So, too, do police or in the very least, these officers of the law must be aware of the importance of animal welfare.

Cows would have have been short of feed, they’d have been very uncomfortable when they weren’t milked on time, are likely to get mastitis because of that, and their production will be affected. Calves were left without milk too.

People’s safety must be the police’s first priority but animal welfare shouldn’t be ignored.


PMofNZ and rivettingKate Taylor have local knowledge.

October 7 in history


On October 7:

1900 Heinrich Himmler, German Nazi official, was born.

1914 English actress Sarah Churchill was born.

1917 Count Felix Graf von Luckner had earned the epithet Der Seeteufel (the Sea-Devil) due to his exploits as captain of the German raider SMS Seeadler (Sea Eagle) in 1916–17, was imprisoned in New Zealand.

1919 Netherlands airline KLM was founded.

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1929 English writer Robert Westall was born.

1932 South African bishop Desmond Tutu was born.

1933 Air France was inaugurated, after the merger of 5 French airlines

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1939 Autralian author, television presenter and critic Clive James was born.

1949 German Democratic Republic (East Germany)was  formed.

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1952 Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister and former President of the Russian Federation was born.

1955 Poet Allen Ginsberg read his poem “Howl” for the first time at a poetry reading in San Francisco.

1957 English figure Skater Jayne Torvill was born.

1982 Cats opened on Broadway and ran for nearly 18 years.



Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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