Word of the day

January 10, 2011

Pleonasm – the use of more words than necesary to express an idea; a superfluous word or phrase; redundancy.


AA needs directions

January 10, 2011

The AA’s magazine is called Directions and that’s something the organisation’s pollsters need.

A survey asks which part of New Zealand respondents call home and gives the following options:

 
 
 

Auckland and Wellington could be the cities or provinces but if it specifies Dunedin, why not Christchurch?

Where’s Eastland and what do people who live in the Wairarapa, North, South and Central Otago put?


Rural round up

January 10, 2011

Gorse – Progressive Turmoil wants to put the pest in the shade:

A few hours of hard physical work sometimes provokes new ideas & different perspectives. So it was for me this morning, on the subject of gorse, NZ’s most serious weed. We are trying to clear gorse from some fairly steep hillsides and I was cutting it with a hand-held petrol-powered machine.

We normally think of gorse as a problem to be controlled, cleared from the land. Its a regulatory view of the plant: we want it gone. . .

Sheep breeder passionate about industry – Neal Wallace writes:

Four generations of Robertsons have sold Romney rams under the Merrydowns prefix, and the latest is as enthusiastic about the future of sheep as the first.

Blair Robertson and his wife Sally are now the masters of the Waikoikoi-based stud, which was started in 1937 by Blair’s great grandfather David Robertson and was subsequently run by the legendary D. H. Robertson and then Blair’s father, Graham. . .

Milk co-op delivers says Fonterra chairman – Hugh Stringleman writes in NZ Farmers Weekly:

In 10 years Fonterra has delivered more for New Zealand than first anticipated, according to chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden.

“Our NZIER study released before Christmas shows dairying provides 26% of NZ’s total goods exports,” van der Heyden, one of two remaining foundation directors, said.

“The opportunities looking forward are for a much greater contribution from the growth in dairy consumption in places like China, Indonesia and India.

“These opportunities are much bigger than anyone anticipated 10 or 12 years ago,” he said. . .

Rural recycling gains interest – TV3 reports:

 An agricultural recycling programme has had a sudden surge of interest from farmers across the country.

Interest in the programme is being welcomed by the Government, which aims to reduce New Zealand’s agricultural waste by a third. . .

Govt tightens foreign investment rules – Marie McNicholas in NZ Farmers Weekly:

Finance Minister Bill English says the new test of more than 10 times the average farm size set last month for foreigners wanting to buy land is not a cap and there is still ministerial discretion to approve bigger sales if other tests are met under the overseas investment rules, or conversely, to refuse smaller-scale applications.


Angry anglers casting into dangerous waters

January 10, 2011

Anyone with the appropriate licence can fish most waterways in New Zealand but no-one has ever had the freedom to cross private land without permission to get to fishing spots.

In the past it would have been rare for farmers to refuse permission but anglers are getting upset because a few landowners are now giving exclusive rights to access to commercial guides:

In a growing number of “exclusive capture” deals, mostly in prime backcountry, “large sums” have been paid to landowners for the sole right to fish on their land, the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers says.

Rich foreigners and celebrities . . .  pay thousands of dollars for guided helicopter fishing expeditions on New Zealand’s most prized trout rivers.

This is a legitimate way for farmers to make money and could well mean the difference between profit and loss given poor returns for meat and wool in recent years.

The government, correctly, says landowners have the right to do this although it has asked the Walking Access Commission to negotiate for open access where it’s restricted.

Agriculture Minister David Carter said although there were probably more, he was aware of fewer “than a dozen” places where the deals were in place. He personally felt it was the legitimate property right of an owner to sell exclusive access for fishing.

“… the owner of the property certainly has the ability to restrict access and therefore to maximise the economic potential of a fishing spot to the advantage of that property owner.”

However, he had asked the commission to negotiate more open access, including offering cash enticements to landowners.

Negotiation is the right way to approach this and the offer of payment recognises that landowners would be forgoing an income-earning opportunity.

It’s is a far more reasonable approach than the bluster from the Federation of Freshwater Anglers:

Federation president Jim Hale said parts of rivers in the North Island and South Island had been captured by “unscrupulous commercial interests”.

“It is practised by those who have captured these trout fishing waters for their own financial profiteering, even though the running water and the fish within them do not belong to them.

“We will fight this scourge wherever we find it, with whoever is involved, with all of the determination and resources at our disposal,” Mr Hale said.

Anglers will be casting into very dangerous waters if their actions match this rhetoric. Fighting property rights is usually the preserve of despots; it would be a very sad day for democracy if it succeeded here.

Fishing can be a lucrative tourist venture. Guides and others who supply services to anglers make money from it so it’s not unreasonable for landowners to want something too.

Negotiation and compensation are the weapons the anglers should be use if they’re unhappy about that, not confrontation.


January 10 in history

January 10, 2011

On January 10:

49 BC Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war.

1776 Thomas Paine published Common Sense.

Oil painting by Auguste Millière 

1806  Dutch settlers in Cape Town surrendered to the British.

1810 The marriage of Napoleon and Josephine was annulled.

Joséphine kneels before Napoléon during his coronation at Notre Dame.

1815 Sir John Alexander Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada, was born  (d. 1891).

1834 Lord Acton, British historian, was born (d. 1902).

1838 French Bishop Jean Baptiste François Pompallier, a priest and brother of the Society of Mary, arrived at Hokianga.

Catholic missionaries arrive at Hokianga

1863 The London Underground, the world’s oldest underground railway, opened between London Paddington station and Farringdon station.

1901  The first great Texas oil gusher was discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas.

1903 Barbara Hepworth, English sculptor, was born (d. 1975).

 Hepworth’s Family of Man in bronze, 1970

 1908 Bernard Lee, English actor was born (d. 1981).

Lee as M in The Man with the Golden Gun.

1920 The League of Nations held its first meeting and ratified the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I.

1922  Arthur Griffith was elected President of the Irish Free State.

1930  Roy Edward Disney, American film executive, was born (d. 2009).

1936 Burnum Burnum, Australian activist, actor and author, was born (d. 1997).

1945 Rod Stewart, Scottish singer, was born.

1946 The first General Assembly of the United Nations opened in London. Fifty-one nations were represented.

1948 Donald Fagen, American musician (Steely Dan), was born.

1949 George Foreman, American boxer, was born.

George Foreman signing.jpg

1959  Fran Walsh, New Zealand screenwriter, was born.

1960 – Brian Cowen, Taoiseach of Ireland, was born.

1962  NASA announced plans to build the C-5 rocket booster. It became better known as the Saturn V moon rocket, which launched every Apollo moon mission.

The first Saturn V, AS-501, before the launch of Apollo 4

1972 – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned to the newly independent Banglades  as president after spending over nine months in prison in Pakistan.

1974 Jemaine Clement, New Zealand actor, was born.

1984 – The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations.

1990  Time Warner was formed from the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc.

2001 – A large piece of the chalk cliff at Beachy Head collapsed into the sea.

 

2005 – A mudslide in La Conchita, California, killed10 people, injured many more and closed Highway 101, the main coastal corridor between San Francisco and Los Angeles, for 10 days.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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