Moved but not shaken

May 22, 2011

I’m not long home from a wonderful weekend of fun, inspiration and motivation at the National Party’s Mainland Conference.

More on the contrast between that and Labour’s spend and tax recipe for dragging us all backwards again tomorrow.

The conference was held in Christchurch. Not surprisingly the earthquake, which Keeping Stock reminds us  happened three months ago today, was in everybody’s minds.

In conference sessions and conversations during breaks those of us from outside the city learned more about the devastation and on-going difficulties dealing with the aftermath.

The gratitude for the help from other parts of New Zealand and round the world, the determination to rebuild and the positive attitude towards the recovery were inspirational.

A small (3 point something) quake this morning was felt by some. None of us was shaken by that but all were moved by the strength and resilience of Christchurch people and the support they’re getting.

An example of this was an $11,000 cheque raised by Young Nats at their 75th anniversary ball and presented to the Canterbury Student Volunteer Army.

Prime Minister John Key, National Party President Peter Goodfellow, Mark Nicholson, Sam Johnson and Sean Topham.

Word of the day

May 22, 2011

Sciolism –  pretence to wisdom; conceit due to it; giving an opinion on a subject of which one has no knowledge; superficial knowledgeability.

Did you see the one about . . .

May 22, 2011

The tertiary education conundrum – Mydeology thinks it’s time for a rethink.

I wannabe a pseudo scientist – has Michael Edmonds got a deal for you!

21 accents – Zen Tiger on 21 ways to say . . .

If you want a hundred trillion dollars – Anti-Dismal on hyperinflation.

What makes some people vote – Lindsay Mitchell on the power of positive personality.

Science journalism is not the same as science – Larvatus Prodeo on the science news cycle.

91863 – Credo Quia Absurdum Est deals with a spam phone caller and also has a funny story about Mummy’s job.

Rural round-up

May 22, 2011

DWN appoints new CEO – dairy Women’s Network chair Michelle Wilson announces:

Sarah Speight has been appointed as full time CEO for DWN, and will commence her role as CEO on 13 June 2011.

Sarah comes to DWN with a wealth of knowledge having been involved in the dairy industry since finishing university in 1992. . .

Organic agriculture aint the answer – Tim Worstall posts:

Not to any reasonable question it ain’t.

Take the case of farming suitable for a world with climate change. And let’s just agree with the IPCC here. It’s happening, we’re causing it, something must be done.

Let’s also take their predictions of what will be the effects. Warmer, wetter winters, hotter, drier summers. . .

Preparer les terrains de l’avinir – perpare the land for the future – Pasture to Profit posts:

“Preparer Les Terrains de L’Avenir”. My French friends will be amazed with my command of the french language but this is a very appropriate title for this week’s blog.
“Prepare the earth for the future” is the core element of a Sustainable Farming system. . .

Beef demand shows seasonal uptake in US at last – Tony Chaston writes:

Much of the demand for beef in the US is driven by the barbeque season and traditional holidays that allow consumers to enjoy this way of eating. After a slow wet spring, things have warmed up and demand is picking up again. Economic factors also influence, and the price of oil affects the household budget and can determine how much is left over for the higher priced cuts of beef.

NZ’s beef prospects and prices are heavily influenced by what happens in the US, with most of our manufacturing beef being consumed there. Our prime beef has many more outlets than that country alone, but US’s exporting power can influences our returns.

There’s money in manuka honey and trial aims to greatly increase it – Peter Kerr at Sciblogs:

There’s plenty of research on why manuka honey’s so useful from a medical and human health point of view.

Equally we understand bees pretty well.

The missing part of the puzzle, ironically, particularly as it is a plant that’s indigenous to New Zealand is how to best grow the native.

But a newly formed consortium, the Manuka Research Partnership (NZ) Ltd., along with well-known honey marketer Comvita Ltd., aims to change that.

Beef + Lamb NZ targets marketing

May 22, 2011

Beef + Lamb NZ is switching its  promotional focus in the United Kingdom from mass media marketing of New Zealand lamb, to a more targeted programme :

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Dr Scott Champion said the shift in focus was made in response to an extensive piece of consumer market research in the UK/Europe.

“. . .  Lamb is the most expensive of all proteins in UK supermarkets and research highlighted that producers and exporters need to directly support the premium positioning of the New Zealand lamb brand.”

Dr Champion said the work Beef + Lamb New Zealand (and its predecessor company, Meat & Wool New Zealand) had done with generic marketing in the past had been very successful in keeping New Zealand lamb top of mind with UK consumers.

“That work has resulted in a 90 per cent brand awareness of New Zealand lamb.”

Dr Champion said having achieved such a high level of recall it was now time to switch focus towards encouraging consumer preference for New Zealand lamb, operating closer to the point of purchase. This has resulted in the major exporting companies investing their own funds alongside farmer levies into programmes that are customised towards consumer and retail needs alike.

The good prices New Zealand lamb has been getting has almost all been as a result of the commodity boom with increased demand coinciding with lower supply.

Targeted marketing should help ensure that when the boom subsides, demand for our lamb doesn’t collapse.


May 22, 2011

Too many numbers in the NZ Herald’s Question Time – only 4/10.

We don’t need another ministry

May 22, 2011

Labour intends to disestablish the Families’ Commission and replace it with a Ministry for Children.

Few people would lament the end to the commission, but we don’t need another ministry, we’ve already got far too many of them.

The one good thing about this policy is it highlights the big difference between National and Labour.

National is focussed on saving, investment export-led growth and the important part reducing the burden of the state plays in that.

Labour is focussed on adding to the burden through taxing, spending and redistribution.

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