Moved but not shaken


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


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 . . .


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


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


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.



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

We don’t need another ministry


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.

May 22 in history


On May 22:

334 BC The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.


1176 The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempted to murder Saladin near Aleppo.


1377  Pope Gregory XI issued five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.

St Catherine before the Pope at Avignon

1455 Wars of the Roses: at the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeated and captured King Henry VI of England.

Roses-York victory.svg

1724 Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer  was born (d. 1772).

IMG 3729 detail.jpg 

1762 Sweden and Prussia signed the Treaty of Hamburg.

1807 A grand jury indicted former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.

1807 Most of the English town of Chudleigh was destroyed by fire.

Chudleigh is located in Devon 

1809 On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon was repelled by an enemy army for the first time.

Fernand Cormon 005.jpg

1813 Richard Wagner, German composer, was born (d. 1883).


1819 The SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.


1826  HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage.


1840 The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was abolished.


1842 Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discovered Howe Caverns when they stumbled upon a large hole in the ground.


1843 Thousands of people and their cattle headed west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri to what would later become the Oregon Territory . They were part of the Great Migration.


1844 Persian Prophet The Báb announced his revelation, founding Bábism. He announced to the world the coming of “He whom God shall make manifest”.

1848 Slavery was abolished in Martinique.

1856  Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas“).


1859  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British physician and writer, was born  (d. 1930).

1871  The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny in Nebraska.

1872  Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.

1884  The first representative New Zealand rugby team played its first match, defeating a Wellington XV 9-0.

First NZ Rugby team in action

 1897 The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was officially opened.

1903 Launch of the White Star Liner,  SS Ionic.

1906 The 1906 Summer Olympics, not now recognized as part of the official Olympic Games, opened in Athens.


1906  The Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.


1907 Laurence Olivier, English stage and screen actor, was born  (d. 1989).


1915 Lassen Peak eruptsed.


1915 Three trains collided in the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green,, killing 227 people and injuring 246.

1936 Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) was founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.

1936  M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer, was born  (d. 2005).

1939 World War II: Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel.

1942  Mexico entered World War II on the side of the Allies.

1942 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbanded, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, was formed.


1946  George Best, Northern Irish footballer, was born  (d. 2005).

1947  Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Truman Doctrine granting $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.


1958  Sri Lankan riots of 1958: a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.

1950 Bernie Taupin, English songwriter, was born.

1955 Iva Davies, Australian rock star (Icehouse), was born.

1960 An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hit southern Chile – the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.


1962  Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashed after bombs explode on board.

1963  Assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Gregoris Lambrakis.


1964 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.


1967  The L’Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels burned down -the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.

1968 The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sank with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.


1969  Apollo 10‘s lunar module flew within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.


1970 Naomi Campbell, British model and actress, was born.

1972  Ceylon adoptseda new constitution, ecoming a Republic, changed its name to Sri Lanka, and joined the Commonwealth of Nations.

1980  Namco released the arcade game Pac-Man.


1990  Microsoft released the Windows 3.0 operating system.

Windows 3.0 workspace.png

1992  After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the last time.

1997  Kelly Flinn, US Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.

Flinn 1 500.jpg

1998 Lewinsky scandal: a federal judge ruled that United States Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury.

2002 – A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.


2003 Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.

2008 LPGA Championship - Annika Sorenstam tee shot.jpg

2004  Hallam, Nebraska, was wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado (part of the May 2004 tornado outbreak sequence) that broke a width record at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide, and killed one resident.


2008  The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashed 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between 22 May and 31 May 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 US states and one Canadian province.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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