Word of the day

27/09/2011

Privilege–  special advantage, favour, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste; such an advantage, immunity, or right held as a prerogative of status or rank, and exercised to the exclusion or detriment of others; the principle of granting and maintaining a special right or immunity; protection from being forced to disclose confidential communications in certain relationships, as between attorney and client, physician and patient, or priest and confessor; protection from being sued for defamation for making otherwise actionable statements in a context or forum where open and candid expression is deemed desirable for reasons of public policy;  an option to buy or sell a stock; to grant a privilege to; to free or exempt.


Speaker refers Leigh case to Privileges Committee

27/09/2011

Speaker Lockwood Smith has referred the Erin Leigh case to the Privileges Committee.

The Supreme court ruled that advice from officials to ministers was not covered by absolute privilege, Dr Smith said the issue raised serious matters which he would refer to the privileges committee for consideration.

The court ruling allowed Ms Leigh to sue for defamation. That doesn’t mean she was defamed but it leaves her free to take a case but unfortunately the cost of doing that has stopped her taking the matter any further.

I hope the Privileges Committee not only looks at the implications of the ruling but at the behaviour of the MPs and state servants which prompted the case.

A report on the court decision is here.

Kiwiblog has a Q&A from Ms Leigh.

Duncan Garner says she deserves an apology, and a payout to not only cover costs, but  to reflect damages.


8/10

27/09/2011

8/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


Verbal scores and decision fatigue

27/09/2011

Links for today’s discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass:

How to stop the drop in verbal scores – E. D. Hirsch Jr. introduces the Matthew effect and rewrites “to those who have it shall be given . . . . ” as:

“To those who understand the gist shall be given new word meanings, but to those who do not there shall ensue boredom and frustration.”

Do you suffer from decision fatigue? – John Tierney asks,  to which I would answer an emphatic yes,  but I’m not quite sure . . .


Awards aim to change perception

27/09/2011

The 2012 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards aim to change some urban perceptions of the country’s dairy farmers and the dairy industry.

Awards executive committee chair Matthew Richards says the 2012 awards will culminate with a series of activities in Auckland that leads into the national awards dinner, where the winners of the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions will be announced.

“We want Auckland and the rest of the country to witness the bright, talented and well presented individuals that are working hard on this country’s dairy farms to drive the dairy industry forward as the global leader that it is .

“Many of our past winners have gone on to leadership roles within the industry and we expect many of our current winners will be the industry’s future leaders,” Mr Richards, a Southland dairy farmer, says.

The 2011 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year Jason and Lisa Suisted said they initially entered the awards to“stand out from the pack” when applying for sharemilking positions. They have gained considerably more.

“What we did not know at the time was how much we were going to learn both about ourselves and our business. We’ve been able to fine tune some of our farm systems and the awards had also allowed us to work side by side, highlighting the strengths we both bring to the business.”

Mr Suisted says the awards challenged them and forced them to take a brutal and critical look at their business.

“The benefits from this have paid off immensely.”

Like the Young Farmer of the Year and other industry competitions, the Dairy Industry Awards provide wonderful opportunities for participants to look at and improve  their own businesses, learn from other entrants and showcase farming.


Reputation at risk from word play on labels

27/09/2011

An Australian television report says New Zealand is being used as the back door into Australia, and chemicals that are banned in other countries are being allowed in.

A dangerous trick is being played in the battle to take over local vegetable growers, with Chinese frozen vegetables sneaking into Australia through New Zealand.

The response from Horticulture New Zealand isn’t reassuring:

Chief executive Peter Silcock says testing proved that products coming from New Zealand met the requirements in terms of chemical residues and in labelling and the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that frozen vegetable exports to Australia comply with New Zealand food regulations.

But what if the regulations don’t go far enough for consumers?

However, Mr Silcock says Hort NZ does believe there could be amendments to New Zealand’s food labelling laws so they have more ‘country of origin’ information.

He says phrases such as “made from local and imported ingredients” are not as helpful as they could be and the industry would like to see more specific labelling.

If the industry wants to see more labelling, it doesn’t need to wait for legislation.

There is nothing preventing producers and manufacturers from introducing better country of origin labelling themselves and there are marketing opportunities for grown/made/processed in New Zealand.

It is difficult to give country of origin labelling to products with many ingredients but frozen vegetables usually contain only vegetables. How hard can it be to let consumers know where they were grown and processed?

New Zealand has very high standards for food safety and quality and the continuing demand for our exports rely on our reputation for that.

Any exporters who are playing with words on packaging and using New Zealand’s reputation to sell produce from other countries are risking that reputation.

That would not only impact on the product involved it could threaten all our other food exports too.

Perception is reality when it comes to food and we cannot afford to do anything to change the perception – based on strict quality and safety standards – that our food is good and safe.


Referendum tool helps sort out options

27/09/2011

Confused about the referendum on electoral systems? Not sure which one to opt for?

Legal Beagle Graeme Edgeler has come up with a referendum tool which could help you work out which system is best for you.

He explains about it here.

If you want to skip the explanation, the tool is here.

As you click on each question, the tool ranks the options based on your answer.

I did it very quickly and finished with Supplementary Member ahead followed by First Past the Post then Preferential Vote, Mixed member Proportional and Single Transferable Vote was a very distant fifth.


Hamilton West more marginal without Green candidate

27/09/2011

Candidates from the wee aprties rarely make a serious attempt to win an electorate.

They stand to get their party profile and generally campaign only for the party vote.

They can, however, have an impact on who wins the seat by splitting the vote.

The Green Party says it will seek another candidate to replace Max Coyle, who stood down after no disclosure of his political links was made when his partner was interviewed by the Waikato Times.

Labour will be hoping they don’t find anyone.

National’s Tim McIndo McIndoe Macindoe won the seat with a majority of 1,618 in 2008 when the Green candidate attracted 1,389 votes.

Without a Green candidate to split the left vote the seat could be far more marginal.


September 27 in history

27/09/2011

489   Odoacer attacked Theodoric at the Battle of Verona, and was defeated again.

1331  The Battle of Płowce between the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Order was fought.

1422  The Teutonic Knights signed the Treaty of Melno with the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

1540  The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) received its charter from Pope Paul III.

1590   Pope Urban VII died 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

1605  The armies of Sweden were defeated by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Battle of Kircholm.

1669 The Venetians surrender the fortress of Candia to the Ottomans, ending the 21-year long Siege of Candia.

1821  Mexico gained its independence from Spain.

1822 Jean-François Champollion announced that he had deciphered the Rosetta stone.

1825  The Stockton and Darlington Railway opened, and begins operation of the world’s first service of locomotive-hauled passenger trains.

1854  The steamship SS Arctic sank with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean.

1903  Wreck of the Old 97, a train crash made famous by the song of the same name.

1905  The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein‘s paper “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, introducing the equation E=mc².

1908  The first production of the Ford Model T car was built at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan.

1916  Iyasu was deposed as ruler of Ethiopia in a palace coup in favor of his aunt Zauditu.

1922  King Constantine I of Greece abdicated his throne in favor of his eldest son, King George II.

1930  Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur Championship to complete the Grand Slam of gol -the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, and British Amateur.

1937  Balinese Tiger declared extinct.

1938  Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth launched in Glasgow.

1940  World War II: The Tripartite Pact was signed in Berlin by Germany, Japan and Italy.

1941 The SS Patrick Henry was launched becoming the first of more than 2,700 Liberty ships.

1941 – Foundation of EAM (National Liberation Front) in Greece.

1942  Last day of the September Matanikau action on Guadalcanal as United States Marine Corps barely escaped after being surrounded by Japanese forces.

1942 – Alvin Stardust, English singer, was born.

1943 Randy Bachman, Canadian musician, was born.

1944 The Kassel Mission resulted in the largest loss by a USAAF group on any mission in World War II.

1947 Meat Loaf, ( Michael Lee Aday)American singer, was born.

1948 Michele Dotrice, English actress, was born.

1949  The first Plenary Session of the National People’s Congress approved the design of the Flag of the People’s Republic of China.

1953 Greg Ham, Australian musician and songwriter (Men at Work), was born.

1954  The nationwide debut of Tonight! (The Tonight Show) hosted by Steve Allen on NBC.

1956  USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt became the first man to exceed Mach 3 while flying the Bell X-2.

1958 Socttish author Irvine Welsh was born.

1959  Nearly 5000 people died on the main Japanese island of Honshū as the result of a typhoon.

1964  The Warren Commission released its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

1964  The British TSR-2 aircraft XR219 made its maiden flight from Boscombe Down in Wiltshire.

1968 – The stage musical Hair opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.

1972 Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress, was born.

1974 William Sutch was charged with spying.

William Sutch charged with spying

1977  The 300 metre tall CKVR-TV transmission tower in Barrie, Ontario, was hit by a light aircraft in a fog, causing it to collapse. All aboard the aircraft were killed.

1983  Richard Stallman announced the GNU project to develop a free Unix-like operating system.

1986  Clifford Lee Burton of Metallica died in tour bus accident.

1988 The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi was founded.

1993  The Sukhumi massacre  in Abkhazia.

1995  The Government of the United States unveiled the first of its redesigned bank notes with the $100 bill featuring a larger portrait of Benjamin Franklin slightly off-centre.

1996  In Afghanistan, the Taliban captured the capital city Kabul after driving out President Burhanuddin Rabbani and executing former leader Mohammad Najibullah.

1996 – The Julie N. tanker skip crashed into the Million Dollar Bridge in Portland, Maine spilling thousands of gallons of oil.

1998  Google was founded.

2003  Smart 1 satellite was launched.

2008 CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese person to perform a spacewalk while flying on Shenzhou 7.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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