Word of the day

September 12, 2011

Nyurrugu – the noise of talking heard a long way off when the words cannot be made out.


How good are they at selling policy?

September 12, 2011

Quote of the week from Clark and Dawe: 

Your mob couldn’t sell lambs to a Kiwi.

They were discussing the Australian Labor government’s difficulty in selling policy to the public. 

It could apply just as well to the Labour opposition on this side of the Tasman.


Rural round-up

September 12, 2011

Getting a slice of the dairy actionWilly Leferink:

For those who wish to ‘save our farms’ from foreign hands, I’m an immigrant. For others who view the cow as an environmental devil, I am a dairy farmer. To those who accuse corporate farmers of avarice, my family and I have interests in six farms. I just hope they’ll note ‘family’ in the last sentence. To those who accuse dairy farmers of tax evasion, I pay my taxes and employ people who do the same.

While I could recite economic numbers showing over a quarter of all exports are dairy, this tends to fly over the heads of many. Listening to the Herald’s Fran O’Sullivan on the radio recently, I was struck by her saying ‘people want a slice of the dairy action’. This was about ‘mum and dad’ investors getting their share in our biggest export industry. The argument is attractive, if somewhat idealised. There’s an assumption retail investors will collect dividends rather than selling their shares at the best possible price. This confounds my idea of what capitalism is . . .

Station wool deal with Japanese

 Mackenzie high country farmer is taking his merino wool straight to the Japanese market after securing a deal with a Japanese buyer that will turn his product into high-end fashion garments for wealthy consumers.

The agreement will see Maryburn Station owner Martin Murray supplying Japanese spinning company Nankai with 20 tonnes of his wool, which comprises about half of what he produces at his station in the Mackenzie Basin . . .

Tauranga horticulturist wins Loder Cup:

Tauranga horticulturalist Mark Dean has been awarded one of the country’s highest conservation honours, the prestigious Loder Cup for 2011, Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson announced today.

“Mark has made an outstanding contribution throughout his lifetime working in the horticulture industry specialising in native flora.

“He has spent much of the past 30 years inspiring others as an advisor, teacher and role model both within the horticulture industry and in community conservation projects.

“This prestigious Cup is awarded for outstanding service and commitment to the protection of New Zealand’s native plant species . . .  

Waning RHD effect spurs studySally Rae:

Recent research on possum control is being applied to rabbits.

The research programme was driven by the waning effectiveness of the rabbit-killing virus rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), with farmers increasingly having to rely on 1080 and pindone poisoning . . .

Farmer’s legacy of ingenuityMark Hotton:

It has been more than 40 years since Southlander Jack Pritchard came up with a simple solution to the annual problem of feeding orphaned lambs, but demand for his invention remains as strong as ever.

It is hard to know how many millions of his Pritchard flutter valve teat have been sold, but many farmers around the world will be familiar with the distinctive red rubber teat, which can be cut to adjust the feeding rate . . .

Fieldays king steps down after 20 yearsCeana Priest:

After two decades of guiding the National Fieldays to an international $500 million agribusiness event, general manager Barry Quayle has resigned.

Quayle, 56, will step down as head of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest field days and Mystery Creek Events Centre on November 1, saying he leaves behind a role that became his passion.

“I’m leaving with a sense of pride and recognising a lot of enjoyable days here,” he said. “It has become a passion and it gets into your blood. You live and breathe it.” . . .

Call to revive wool use in NZ:

As the international Campaign for Wool rolls on, the industry in New Zealand is looking to rebuild the demand for wool in its own back yard.

The latest step in the campaign to revive global interest in wool, the Wool Modern Exhibition, opened in London last week.

New Zealand products are featured in the exhibition which aims to break new ground in uses for wool by exhibiting work by leading fashion and interior designers . . .

Government, business and farmers to learn sustainability lessonsJames Houghton:

 I am astounded at some of the exorbitant prices being charged by some businesses now the Rugby World Cup is around the corner.

The World Cup may be a one off event, but treating it simply as a money grab is not sustainable thinking.

As a farmer and businessman myself, I am keen to see all industries operate a tight ship and turn a decent profit. However, farmers are starting to learn that business success in the long term is tied to sustainability and some stories of commercial greed in the news lately indicate not all industries have learnt that lesson. . .


Inaugural farmers market sell-out success

September 12, 2011

The Oamaru Farmers Market which opened yesterday was so successful many stalls were sold-out within an hour of opening.

As is often the way, the success was due to a small group of people who knew they had a good idea and worked hard to realise it.

Farmers Markets have been tried and failed in Oamaru in the past.

But the preparation put in by organisers and the sell-out success of opening day augers well for the on-going success for this one.


Are we excited yet ? #4

September 12, 2011

We had expected to be in the minority wearing blue and white in Dunedin on Saturday but there were plenty of others supporting Los Pumas.

Some were Argentineans, some like us have an emotional attachment to the country and its people, some were supporting anyone who played the English and others were just getting into the Rugby World Cup spirit.

Whatever the motivation, the excitement at the stadium was at least equal to that we’d expect if a home team was playing.

Call us biased, but we decided Argentina was the winner on the night, though sadly Los Pumas weren’t on the field.

But excitement wasn’t just confined to the match. The city was buzzing and the hinterland is too.

Tourists, domestic and international, are spreading  – and spending – round Otago and Southland and no doubt further afield.

That stadium of 4 million has grown into 4 million plus friends and it’s fun.

Match of the day: Colac Bay vs Scottish supporters.

P.S. Has the gap between the top teams and the others closed or are they holding back? Often at this stage of a tournament there are run-away scores but this weekend several underdogs almost triumphed.


Where dairy farming is going

September 12, 2011

The $11.6 million cleanup of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere will be a collaborative effort by central government, Ngāi Tahu, Environment Canterbury, Fonterra, Selwyn District Council, Lincoln University and the local community.

In announcing the initiative, Environment Minister Nick Smith said:

“Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is New Zealand’s most polluted lake and a co-ordinated cleanup is overdue. This plan involves changes to the Water Conservation Order, millions of dollars to fund clean up work, changes to farm practices in the lake’s catchments, riparian planting and relationship agreements to keep the work programme on track,” Dr Smith said . . .

“$11.6 million is being committed to clean up the lake made up of contributions of $6.1 million from the Government, $3.5 million from Environment Canterbury, $1.3 million from Fonterra, $500,000 from Ngāi Tahu and the balance from the Selwyn District Council, Waihora Ellesmere Trust and Lincoln University. There will also be a substantial commitment to the clean up from local volunteers.

“This is the most significant fresh water clean up project New Zealand has undertaken because of the severity of the pollution and the size of the lake. It has taken 50 years for it to get into this mess and it will take a long-term commitment to put it right. The significance of today is that Ngāi Tahu, farmers, community representatives, local, regional and central government, as well as New Zealand’s largest company, are committed to working together to drive the changes needed to reduce pollutants entering the lake and put it on the road to recovery. . .

Writing about the project in the Sunday Star Times, (not online) Federated farmers president Bruce Wills said the rehabilitation provides a template farmers can back.

Instead of finger pointing, government, iwi, industry, councils and farmers are working together . . .

Te Waihora needs only a little of the immense wealth farming ahs generated for the country over these decades to be put back into it. But Te Waihora also needs action of the 15,000 pest Canada geese estimated to be there – each Canada goose is like having a sheep living ont he water.

It’s why are farmers are saying that lake Ellesmere represents where dairy farming was. Te Wiahora is about where dairy farming is going. It will mean undoing decades of damage from a less enlightened time, there’s no such thing as ‘the good old days’ with farm environmental practice.

A Canterbury spirit can be seen with Fonterra Cooperative Group joining farmers in working for the lake. Te Waihora indicates a dairy industry that’s facing up to the past but is working with the community for a common future.”

While not all farmers and farming practices in the past were unsustainable, it is true that too many were.

We can’t change that but we can ensure we do better in the future.

If the  Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere clean-up is successful it could provide a model for other areas to follow.


September 12 in history

September 12, 2011

1213 Albigensian Crusade: Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret.  

 

1575 Henry Hudson, English explorer, was born (d. 1611).

1683  Austro-Ottoman War: Battle of Vienna – several European armies joined forces to defeat the Ottoman Empire.

1814 Battle of North Point: an American detachment halted the British land advance to Baltimore in the War of 1812.

1846 Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.

1847  Mexican-American War: the Battle of Chapultepec began.

1848  Switzerland became a Federal state.

1852  H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1928).

1857 The SS Central America sank drowning a total of 426 passengers and crew, including Captain William Lewis Herndon. The ship was carrying 13–15 tons of gold from the San Francisco Gold Rush.

 

1888 Maurice Chevalier, French singer and actor, was born (d. 1972).

1897  Tirah Campaign: Battle of Saragarhi

 

1906 The Newport Transporter Bridge was opened by Viscount Tredegar.

1910 Premiere performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players).

1913 Jesse Owens, American athlete, was born (d. 1980).

 

1919  Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers Party. 

1930  Wilfred Rhodes ended his 1110-game first-class career by taking 5 for 95 for H.D.G. Leveson Gower’s XI against the Australians.

 

1933  Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light conceived the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.

1940   An explosion at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Kenvil, New Jersey killed 51 people and injured over 200.

1942  RMS Laconia, carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian POWs was torpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sankwith a heavy loss of life.

1942 First day of the Battle of Edson’s Ridge during the Guadalcanal campaign.

1943  Benito Mussolini was rescued from house arrest on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi, by German commando forces led by Otto Skorzeny. 

1948 Invasion of the State of Hyderabad by the Indian Army on the day after the Pakistani leader Jinnah’s death.

1952 Gerry Beckley, American musician (America), was born.

 

1952 Strange occurrences, including a monster sighting,  in Flatwoods, West Virginia.

1958  Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit

1959  Premiere of Bonanza, the first regularly-scheduled TV programme presented in color.

 

1964 Canyonlands National Park was designated as a National Par 

1966  Gemini 11, the penultimate mission of NASA’s Gemini programme.

 

1974  Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed following a military coup by the Derg, ending a reign of 58 years.

 

1977 South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko was killed in police custody.

1979 Indonesia was hit by an earthquake that measures 8.1 on the Richter scale.

1980 Military coup in Turkey.

 

1981 Flour bombs ended the rugby test between the All Blacks and Springboks at Eden Park.

'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

1983  A Wells Fargo depot in West Hartfor,was robbed of approximately US$7 million by Los Macheteros.

1988  Hurricane Gilbert devastated Jamaica. 

1990 The two German states and the Four Powers signed the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany in Moscow, paving the way for German re-unification.

1992  NASA launched Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board were Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.

 

1992 Abimael Guzmán, leader of the Shining Path, was captured by Peruvian special forces.

 

1994 Frank Eugene Corder crashed a single-engine Cessna 150 into the White House’s south lawn, striking the West wing and killing himself.

2001  Ansett Australia, Australia’s first commercial interstate airline, collapsed due to increased strain on the international airline industry, leaving 10,000 people unemployed.

 

2003 – In Fallujah, US forces mistakenly shot and killed eight Iraqi police officers.

2005  Hong Kong Disneyland opened.

2007 Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was convicted of the crime of plunder.

2008 The 2008 Chatsworth train collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Pacific Union Freight Train killed 25 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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