Word of the day


Yomp – a long distance march carrying full kit; to carry heavy equipment over difficult terrain.

Encouraging start to year for milk sales


The trade weighted index increased 7.1% in the first globalDairyTrade auction of the year.

The price paid for whole milk powder rose 3.8% to $3750 a tonne;  skim milk powder increased 10.9% to $3492;  anhydrous milk fat went up 10.6% to $5984 and  butter milk powder increased by 20.6% to $3390.

Those prices are a very encouraging start to the year for milk sales, well above the TWI average.

GDT Trade Weighted Index


Whoops – graph gets cut off, follow the link above to see it all.

Rural round up


Difficulty with logic consistencies and history in Australia too at Eye to the Long Run:

An iron law of populism is that while Australian businesspeople investing abroad are portrayed as job-creating entrepreneurs, foreign investors are depicted as rapacious robber-barons . . .

Oh to be top dog again – Sally Rae writes:

Russell Peek’s dog trialling career may have spanned more than 40 years, but the desire to win is as strong as ever.

Mr Peek (58) has won one New Zealand championship and four island titles and his ambition is to win another national title. . .

 Eyes open to new possibilities: Jackie Harrrigan writes:

When Bruce Roberts and Nicola Murphy bought Longreach Station, in the upper reaches of the Waitotara Valley, they mentally wrote off the 88ha of pine trees planted at the back of the steep farm.

Then Taranaki Regional Council land management officer Jason Loveridge arrived and asked them what they were doing about the ETS, and their eyes were opened to a world of possibilities and a whole new income stream.

Previous owners of the 1750ha Makakaho farm planted the pines with a plan to harvest them through access across a neighbouring DOC reserve, but DOC powers-that-be soon put the kibosh on that plan. . .

Losing benefit after 26 years


Former gang leader Darryl Harris is to lose the sickness benefit he’s been receiving for 26 years:

Ministry of Social Development chief executive Peter Hughes said Harris had been told that his sickness benefit would stop from January 10 because “he no longer meets standard eligibility requirements”.

Hughes was replying to an Official Information Act request by The Press.

This is more good journalism from The Press which reported last year that Harris and his wife, Marcia Robins, had been claiming unemployment and sickness benefits since 1984.

They had received $30,000 in special-needs grants since 2000, including payments for new tyres for their 2007 Chrysler saloon and to fence a swimming pool at one of their Christchurch properties.

Efforts to cancel Harris’ sickness benefit failed after he obtained a medical opinion that he was addicted to cannabis. The opinion was from one of Work and Income’s designated doctors after the agency appealed against a medical opinion that Harris was suffering “stress and anxiety” over being work-tested.

What about the stress and anxiety those of us who work to pay taxes suffer knowing this is where they go?

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said yesterday the Government believed those who could work should do so, “and if that is considered hard line, so be it”.

“If someone is receiving the benefit because they are unwell, it is reasonable to expect them to be making every effort to get well so they can return to work. That is their responsibility to the taxpayer,” she said.

“It is unreasonable to expect the New Zealand taxpayer to support someone for extended periods on welfare because of a drug habit, unless every effort is being made to kick that habit and get back to work.”

There is no  doubt a lot more to this case than has been reported. It will be the exception not the rule and shouldn’t be used to put undue pressure on people who need help for circumstances beyond their control.

It could also be used to put a case for more help for the treatment of addiction.

But it is a welcome sign that the right to assistance comes with responsibilities and those who can help themselves will be expected to do so.

Bucket of concrete better than sign


Signs telling people to shut gates are all very well if people understand and abide them.

But if you can’t trust them to do that a bucket of concrete is better:

This gate is at Raspberry Flat in the Matukituki Valley. The rope feeds out through a pulley when you open it and the weight of the concrete filled bucket pulls it shut again.

January 5 in history


On January 5:

1355 – Charles I of Bohemia was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan.

1477 – Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold was killed and Burgundy became part of France.


1500 – Duke Ludovico Sforza conquered Milan.


1527 – Felix Manz, a leader of the Anabaptist congregation in Zürich, was executed by drowning.

1554 – A great fire started in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

1675 – Battle of Colmar: the French army beat Brandenburg.

1757 – Louis XV of France survived an assassination attempt by Robert–François Damiens, the last person to be executed in France by drawing and quartering, the traditional form of capital punishment used for regicides.

1759 George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis.

1767 Jean-Baptiste Say, French economist, originator of Say’s Law, was born  (d. 1832).

Jean-Baptiste Say.

1834 William John Wills, English explorer of Australia, member of the Burke and Wills expedition, was born (d. 1861).

1889 – Preston North End was declared winner of the original football league.

PNE FC.png

1896 – An Austrian newspaper reported that Wilhelm Roentgen had discovered a type of radiation later known as X-rays.

1903  Harold Gatty, Australian aviator, navigator with Wiley Post, was born (d. 1957).

1910  Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete, was born (d. 1949).

1914 – The Ford Motor Company announced an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5 for a day’s labour.

1917  Jane Wyman, American actress, was born  (d. 2007).

1918 – The Free Committee for a German Workers Peace, which became the Nazi party, was founded.

1925 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming became the first female governor in the United States.

1932 Umberto Eco, Italian writer, was born.

1933 – Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began in San Francisco Bay.


1938 King Juan Carlos I of Spain, was born.

1940 – FM radio  was demonstrated to the FCC  for the first time.

1940 Athol Guy, Australian singer, member of The Seekers, was born.

The Seekers dvd.jpg

1943 Justice Mary Gaudron, first female judge of the High Court of Australia, was born.
1944 – The Daily Mail became the first transoceanic newspaper.
1946 Diane Keaton, American actress, was born.
1950 Chris Stein, American guitarist (Blondie), was born.
1960 Phil Thornalley, English bass guitarist (The Cure), was born.

1968 – Alexander Dubček came to power: “Prague Spring” began in Czechoslovakia.

1969  Marilyn Manson, American singer, was born.

1973 Phil Joel, New Zealand bassist (Newsboys), was born.

1974 – Warmest reliably measured temperature in Antarctica of +59°F (+15°C) recorded at Vanda Station.

1976 – Cambodia was renamed Democratic Kampuchea by the Khmer Rouge.

1977 The occupation of Bastion Point started.

Occupation of Bastion Point begins

1993 – The oil tanker MV Braer ran aground on the coast of the Shetland Islands, spilling 84,700 tons of crude oil.

1993 – Washington state executed Westley Allan Dodd by hanging (the last legal hanging in America).

2005 – Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, was discovered by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz using images originally taken on October 21, 2003, at the Palomar Observatory.

Eris (centre) and Dysnomia (left of centre), taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Eris (centre) and Dysnomia (left of centre).

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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