Word of the day


Declivity – downwards slope, inclination downwards.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who composed Bolero?

2. Who said: Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”?

3. What is the capital city of Andalucia?

4. What was Sir Keith Holyoake’s middle name?

5. It’s dolor in Spanish, douleur in French, dolore in Italian and pāmamae in Maori – what is it in English?

Points for answers:

Andrei and Bearhunter wint he electronic bouquet for perfect scores – pick some irises.

Deborah got three.

David got a bonus point for honesty.

Paul got four, a welcome back and a bonus for extra informaiton, humour and a good point about the 375 Cambodians.

Adam got four.

Answers follow the break:

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Who was there first?


The Environment Court in Christchurch has reserved its decision about an appeal by winegrowers, over a ruling by Hurunui District Council to limit the noise level for wind machines used for frost protection.

Owners of vineyards in the Waipara Valley say a limit of 55 decibels, would mean machines operating at a level which wouldn’t provide full protection.

New Zealand Winegrowers policy manager John Barker says the outcome of the appeal will be significant for all growers, not just those in North Canterbury.

If the neighbours who will be affected by the noise were there first I would be sympathetic towards the noise limit. But if the vineyards were there first I’m on the side of the growers.

People move to lifestyle blocks in the country for a variety of reasons and often with the misconception that it will be more peaceful than life in town.

There will be fewer people and less traffic but there will usually be more animals and/or machinery which can be noisy.

When lifestylers meet agriculture and horticulture something has to give and those who were there first should come first when rules are being set.



10/10 in the Dominion Post weekly political quiz – but a couple were lucky guesses.

Wool part of the solution to falling sheep numbers


Beef + Lamb New Zealand ‘s announcement that the lamb drop was more than 10% down on last year’s wasn’t unexpected.

A cold, wet spring took its toll, not only in Southland and South Otago where it snowed in late September, but in the North Island too.

The Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Economic Service’s annual Lamb Crop Survey released today shows the number of lambs tailed was 25.11million head – 2. 8 million less than last spring – and the largest between – season percentage decrease seen in 21 years.

B+LNZ Economic Service Director, Rob Davison says both islands were affected by the cold and wet weather patterns that saw heavy snow fall to sea level in Southland during late September.

“North Island lamb numbers were back 9.5 per cent, while South Island numbers were back by 10.4 per cent.  Any regions where lambing was in full swing in late September were affected.

“Overall, the ewe lambing percentage across the country was 109.6 per cent. That’s 11.9 percentage points lower than last season’s 121.5 per cent – the lowest percentage we’ve seen since the spring of 1995.  While scanning results indicated lambing would be back slightly, it was the prolonged, cold wet weather during spring that was ultimately responsible.”

Lambs from hoggets were up 6.2 per cent on last season – this was partly because hoggets generally lamb later in spring and so largely avoided the adverse weather.  Hogget lambs this spring made up 4.0 per cent of the total lamb crop.

However, Mr Davison says continuing cooler weather, a lack of sunshine and consequent low pasture growth rates mean across the country, lambs are an average of two or three weeks behind where they would normally be at this time.  As a result, early drafts are down in both numbers and average weights.

 This will lead to a decrease in exports, although not by the same percentage.

“We estimate lambs for export will fall 1.4 million (-6.8%) on last season, to 19.5 million.  The reason for the lesser decline than the 2.8 million fall in the lamb crop, is that we predict fewer replacement lambs will be retained this season compared with last season’s high retention.  This season the trade-off will be to keep fewer replacements to generate cash flow.

“With fewer lambs to finish, average weights are expected to be up 1 per cent on last year to 17.8 kg which would make this the highest on record.  The prediction is that farmers will draft as many lambs as possible early to take advantage of the new season lamb schedule prices, then hold off until later in the season, opting to produce heavier weights to maximise per head prices – while at the same time hoping for a decrease in the New Zealand dollar by later in the season.

“Last season’s mid-November lambs were realising $5 to $5.20 per kilogram. This season, we’re ahead of those levels, around $6.10 to $6.30 per kilogram.”

Mr Davison says an active store market has already appeared, driven partly by fewer lamb numbers, but also concerns that the current La Nina weather pattern could deliver a dry summer across the country.

Farmers, and their financiers, will welcome the improved prices but the decreased numbers of lambs will put more pressure on the meat companies which were already regarded as having too much killing capacity.

However, falling numbers provide an insecure foundation  for higher prices. A stronger base requires better prices not just for meat but for wool and other by-products as well.

Wool Partners Co-operative  is offering an opportunity to for better returns from fibre, but it requires 50% of the wool clip to get under way. If it doesn’t get enough support the first realistic opporunity in years for improved returns from wool will be lost and that will be a blow to not only the wool industry but the meat industry too.

The full Lamb Crop 2010 survey is here.

Poorest don’t know about WFF


The Growing Up in New Zealand study found that many who need help most don’t know about Working for Families:

  • Nearly half (45 percent) of mothers in high deprivation areas were unaware of Working for Families.
  • I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that.

    WFF doesn’t go to people on benefits and there are likely to be more of them living in high deprivation areas.

    And remember the TV advertisements when Labour introduced WFF?

    They showed a well dressed family in a well furnished home with a father texting a daughter who was listening to an IPod. Those advertisements weren’t aimed at the people in high deprivation areas who needed help most, they were deliberately aimed at middle and upper income families.

    One of the options in the report from the Welfare Working Group is:

    An unconditional tax credit with a uniform tax rate that would replace all benefits and supplements.

     I wonder if that includes WFF and if that would focus assistance on those in need rather than those in want?


    Lindsay Mitchell writes:

    TV3 highlighted that 45 percent of the mothers in “high deprivation areas” were not aware of Working For Families. That is probably because they have no connection with the tax system through work. They will be well aware of the benefit system and using it.

    November 26 in history


    On November 26:

    43 BC – The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (“Octavian”, later “Caesar Augustus”), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony was formed.


    783 – The Asturian queen Adosinda was put up in a monastery to prevent her kin from retaking the throne from Mauregatus.

    1476 – Vlad III Dracula defeated Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.

    Vlad Tepes 002.jpg

    1731 William Cowper, English poet, was born (d. 1800).


    1778 –  Captain James Cook became the first European to visit Maui.

    1789 – A national Thanksgiving Day was observed in the United States.


    1805 – Official opening of Thomas Telford’s Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

    1842 – The University of Notre Dame was founded.

    1863 – American Civil War: Mine Run – Union forces under General George Meade positioned against troops led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

    1865 – Battle of Papudo: The Spanish navy engaged a combined Peruvian-Chilean fleet north of Valparaiso, Chile.

    1876  Willis Carrier, American engineer and inventor(air conditioning), was born  (d. 1950).

    1895 Bill Wilson, American co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was born (d. 1971).


    1918 – The Podgorica Assembly voted for “union of the people”, declaring assimilation into the Kingdom of Serbia.

    1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.

    1922 Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist, was born (d. 2000).


    1922 – Toll of the Sea debuted as the first general release film to use two-tone Technicolor (The Gulf Between was the first film to do so but it was not widely distributed).

    1923  Pat Phoenix, English actress, was born.


    1924 – George Segal, American Pop Sculptor, was born (d. 2000).


    1939 – Shelling of Mainila: The Soviet Army orchestrated the incident which was used to justify the start of the Winter War with Finland four days later.

    1939 –  Tina Turner, American singer and actress, was born.

    1942 – World War II: Yugoslav Partisans convened the first meeting of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia.

    1944 – World War II: A German V-2 rocket hit a Woolworth’s shop on New Cross High Street killing 168 shoppers.

    1944 – World War II: Germany began V-1 and V-2 attacks on Antwerp.


    1949 – The Indian Constituent Assembly adopted India’s constitution presented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

    Constitution of India.jpg

    1950 – Korean War: Troops from China launch a massive counterattacked against South Korean and United Nations forces (Battle of the Ch’ongch’on River and Battle of Chosin Reservoir), ending any hopes of a quick end to the conflict.

    A snow covered hill with the hill top on fire and the slopes filled with charging soldiers

    1960 – The National Party, led by Keith Holyoake, defeated Walter Nash’s one-term Labour government. Holyoake went on to become the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister.

    'Kiwi Keith' begins 12-year reign as PM

    1965 – In the Hammaguir launch facility in the Sahara Desert, France launched a Diamant-A rocket with its first satellite, Asterix-1 on board, becoming the third country to enter outer space.

    Diamant P6230215.JPG

    1968 – Vietnam War: United States Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescued an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire and was later awarded the Medal of Honor.


    1970 – In Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) of rain fell in a minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.

    1977 – ‘Vrillon’, claiming to be the representative of the ‘Ashtar Galactic Command’, tookover Britain’s Southern Television for six minutes.

    1983 – Brink’s-MAT robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million were stolen from the Brink’s-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport.

    1990 – The Delta II rocket made its maiden flight.

    A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying the Dawn spacecraft.

    1998 – Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland’s parliament.

    2003 – Concorde made its final flight, over Bristol.


    2004 – Ruzhou School massacre: a man stabbed and killed eight people and seriously wounded another four in a school dormitory in Ruzhou, China.

    2004 – Male Po’ouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) died of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct.


    2008 – The first of 10 co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai by Pakistan-based terrorists were fired.

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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