Word of the day

September 25, 2011

Perdegana – an agreement in certain games whereby the loser wins.


9/10

September 25, 2011

9/10 in the Herald’s QuestionTime – I knew Minto was standing in Maukau but not which point of the compass went with it.


Backing blue but which blue?

September 25, 2011

I have conflicted loyalties over today’s Rugby World Cup match between Argentina and Scotland.

My father was a Scot and as far as we know all my mother’s antecedents who weren’t born in New Zealand were Scottish too.

All those tartan genes mean I’d be supporting Scotland against anyone other than New Zealand.

But, and it’s a very big but, we hosted an AFS student from Argentina 16 years ago and his family is now our family. Then our nephew married an Argentinean, adding to our affection for that country and its people.

The Celtic connection means I’ll be favouring Ireland against Russia and several wonderful holidays in Fiji make it easy to back them in the match against Samoa.

Choosing which team to support in the third game is much harder.

I’m definitely backing blue today – but should it be dark blue or light blue?


Rural round-up

September 25, 2011

Rural contractors say review needed – Sally Rae:

Rural Contractors New Zealand has welcomed a review of    transport rules affecting agricultural contractors, describing    it as “great news”.   

Associate Transport Minister Nathan Guy said the Government      was about to begin a review. It wanted to make sure the rules      ensured public safety without imposing unnecessary red tape . . .

Arable farming career excites graduate – Sally Rae:

Hannah Priergaard-Petersen reckons she has the perfect    first job. Ms Priergaard-Petersen has been employed as a trials    officer at the Foundation for Arable Research (Far), following    her stint as a Far summer scholar in 2010-11.   

Brought up in a farm in northern Southland, she recently      completed a bachelor of science degree at the University of      Canterbury, majoring in biological sciences . . .

Young stock judge tackles Australia – Sally Rae:

A great learning experience” is how young Otago stock judge Will Gibson describes representing New Zealand at the Royal      Adelaide Show in Australia.   

 Will (18), a pupil at John McGlashan College, competed in the junior merino judging competition earlier this month, against      the six Australian state finalists.   

 He was among a small group of young New Zealanders who participated in stock judging and handling competitions at      the show.   

 New Zealand Young Rural Achiever Cath Lyall, from Raes Junction, also represented New Zealand at the event.  

New focus sought for Waituna – Kimberly Crayton-Brown:

Farmers in the Waituna catchment fear they may lose their farms, meaning talk must focus on solutions and not problems, a senior Environment Southland staff member says.

Council chief executive Ciaran Keogh said people needed to be thinking about a response, not a threat. “We have got a problem and we need to get people talking about answers which we are not doing at the moment. People are starting to feel threatened so let’s lift the discussion out of the confrontational things.”

Mr Keogh said at the moment farmers had this great fear they were going to lose their farms . . .

Sheep milking operation continues to expand – Collette Devlin:

Losing his seat at the general election this year could be enough for Deputy Prime Minister Bill English to return to a farming life, with sheep milking one option.

Southland’s leading sheep milking operation Blue River Dairy hosted Mr English last week, including a visit to the milking shed run by Keith Neylon in Antler Downs.

Blue River Diary has another milking operation in Brydone, Invercargill. Both farms milk non-stop for 12 months . . .

Demographics alter consumer demand patterns – Allan Barber:

Demographic changes will present challenges for the red meat sector in spite of apparently unstoppable world population growth. Several speakers at the Red Meat Sector Conference made reference to the possible effects of these changes over the next 40 years, some of which will be positive, like the growth of the Indian and Chinese middle class, and others negative.

The most obvious challenge will be the ageing of the population in first world countries, because older people eat less and require more single portion meat cuts . . .

RMSS conference reveals templates to learn from:

THE RED Meat Sector Strategy report, issued in May, said what needed to be done. Now Beef + Lamb NZ and the Meat Industry Association have run up another clutch of signal flags.  

Others in agriculture are seen to be doing some of the things the RMSS report suggested, so they were invited to tell their stories at a recent conference. Their successes stemmed from growers and consumers being in harmony . . .

Merino meat next on the menu – Owen Hembry:

A new sheep industry initiative aiming to replicate the branding success of high country merino wool with premium priced meat products is heading to high-end restaurant plates.

The New Zealand Merino Company and processor co-operative Silver Fern Farms have formed a joint venture and launched a premium brand called Silere Alpine Merino, which will sell for about 10 to 15 per cent more than normal meat . . .

Choose good tucker and chew slowly – Alan Emmerson:

I was really intrigued with the statistics as to how many of the world’s people were starving and how many were obese. Out of a world population approaching seven billion people, one billion are hungry.

Similarly one billion are overweight with 300 million classed as obese. In the United States with a population of 311 million, 10 million are starving and 105 million are obese. Obesity is a massive problem, not much is heard of it and, worse, New Zealand is the third most obese nation in the world. It is, indeed, a crisis . . .

Seeking farmer contorl of wool – Tony Leggett:

A new company formed to raise capital to invest in the wool sector is already shrouded in controversy.

The New Zealand Wool Investment Company (to be known as WoolCo) is a 50:50 joint venture between the farmer-owned and listed wool innovation firm Wool Equities Limited (WEL) and Christchurch merchant bankers Ocean Partners.

It announced plans last Friday to attempt to raise $40 million capital to buy the 65% stake in Wool Services International (WSI), formerly held by two companies associated with Allan Hubbard but now controlled by a receiver . . .

Crafar not guilty in dirty farming trial

Reporoa dairy farmer Glen Walter Crafar has been found not guilty by a Rotorua District Court  jury of one charge of dirty dairying . . .

Farmers fearful over rustler raids – Greg Stack:

Stolen livestock and gunshots on the wild west coast have Waikato farmers fearing for their safety, with one stopping vehicle access to a popular fishing spot in response.

Livestock rustling, a problem more common in a Western film, has hit Waikato’s west coast as the tail of the recession squeezes the isolated farming community . . .

Divisions over apple marketing – Gerald Piddock:

Waipopo Orchards is taking a wait and see approach following a split in the apple industry over the best way to exploit the newly opened Australian market.

The split came following the results of a recent postal ballot that showed while 73 per cent of growers with 72 per cent of the export crop voted to support adopting a Horticultural Export Authority (HEA) model for the Australian market, just 37 per cent of exporters with 43 per cent of the fruit backed the proposal . . .

Farm sales on the rise – Gerald Piddock:

Farm sales nationally for the year to August topped 1000 for the first time in almost two years, according the Real Estate Institute.

“The underlying trend is rising. We are seeing enquiry emerging for quality properties,” rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.

The improvement was based on expectations for commodity prices to hold or in some cases firm slightly as the season progressed, he said . . .

Herbal pasture clovers challenge our concept of what a dairy pasture looks like – Pasture to Profit:

The dawning of a new age OR a Storm of Innovation? A group of very innovative pasture based dairyfarmers in the UK are challenging our concept of what a pasture looks like. Farmers are experimenting with Herbal Clover pastures. Lots of different mixes of herbs with white clover to provide the nitrogen. Over the past two weeks I’ve been very lucky to work with 2 French groups (one farmer group from Brittany & an Organic Dairy Advisers group from Normandy) visiting SW England. We were on both conventional & organic pasture based dairy
farms . . .


Loving that roof

September 25, 2011

It was raining steadily when we got to Dunedin late yesterday afternoon and we were more than a little damp by the time we got to the stadium.

Bu once inside, out of the rain and the wind, we were able to enjoy the pre-match entertainment from the Army Band and the fun of being part of a near-capacity crowd at an international fixture without being distracted by the wet and cold.

The Forsyth Barr stadium was a controversial project and some are still concerned about its cost. But it is a wonderful facility and there is no doubt that putting a roof on it has made it much more comfortable for spectators and players.

Whoever is in charge of building whatever will replace the Christchurch stadium should be consulting the people behind Dunedin’s and going for a roof too.

And the rugby? To my admittedly inexpert eyes, England never even approached top gear and the 67-3 score said more about Romania being mis-matched than the English team performing well.

They struggled against Argentina in their first match, last week the score in the game against Georgia flattered them and last night they showed little if any flair.

The question is, is that it or will they be able to go up several notches when they’re really tested in the quarter finals?

A couple of young Scots were sitting behind us. We asked why they weren’t in Wellington to support their own team. They said they’d had tickets for Christchurch, built their itinerary round that and it was too expensive to fly from Queenstown to Wellington so they were making the most of the Rugby World Cup experience.

We didn’t tell them our nephew and his Argentinean wife got cheap seats to fly up from Dunedin and will be at the Cake Tin today cheering on Los Pumas.

We’d booked a table at Filadelfio’s to enable us to combine dinner with watching the All Blacks vs France.

It’s too soon to relax, there are a lot of important games to go  yet. But last night’s 37-17 win  was a wonderful way for Richie McCaw to celebrate his 100th match for the All Blacks.

Like Inventory 2, I was moved to watch an obviously ill Jock Hobbs present Richie with the silver test cap.

P.S. – We noticed a photographer with a big lens on the catwalk high above the ground. It wasn’t us he was looking for though, it was Zara Philliips and he found her.

P.P.S. – The curtain raiser was a few hours before the main game. The Nude Blacks met the Romanian Vampires (with fangs and cloaks but sans clothes) in a match at Larnach Castle earlier in the day. (Don’t click the link if you’re offended by nudity).

Full credit to whoever saw the marketing opportunity – the Nude Blacks were sponsored by grabaseat and Bottom Bus.


Act 2, different Act or new Act?

September 25, 2011

A few months ago Don Brash mused over whether he was better to join Act or start a whole new party.

A party is more than its MPs and candidates but they are its public face and with the announcement that John Bowscawen isn’t going to seek re-election for Act, it looks like Brash has effectively done both.

He joined Act but after the election, however well it does, it will have a completely new caucus , albeit that two of its members – John Banks, if he wins Epsom, and Brash himself, if there are enough party votes for a second MP, have been in parliament before as National MPs.

The question is: will this be Act 2, a different Act or a completely new Act  altogether?


Daylight Savings Blues again

September 25, 2011

We were late home from Dunedin last night and to add insult to injury we lost an hour of much needed sleep when the clocks went forward.

Once more I’ve got the:

Daylight Savings Blues

Spring is here the grass has grown

It’s time to have my annual moan.

Why do the clocks move on so soon

And force us to rise by light of moon?

Spring equinox gives 12 hours of light

So we have to rise while it’s still night.

And what use is the extra evening sun

If it’s not there once dinner’s done?

The clocks moved on an hour last night

But the weather forecast’s not looking bright.

They say we’ll get rain, hail, sleet and snow

Blue sky and sun alas won’t show.

What’s the point of clocks gone for’ard

When every day the weather’s horrid?

Couldn’t they wait til winter’s past

And we no longer face its icy blast?

In summer’s heat I agree it’s fine

To change the clocks and gain play time.

But early spring’s still cold and dark

For those at work before the lark.

Delay the change by three weeks or four

Til there’s 14 daylight hours or more.

We could then rise after the sun

And have more light for night time fun.

Take heed of all the morning workers

And not those lazy evening shirkers.

Daylight saving makes sense in summer

But in spring it just makes us glummer.


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