Word of the day

October 21, 2011

Peradventure – maybe, perhaps, possibly; uncertainty, doubt.


October 21, 2011

12/14 15 in Stuff’s kids’ quiz – entertainment and the trick maths questions caught me.

Freelancer top Ag journalist

October 21, 2011

The economic and social importance of agriculture in New Zealand is reflected in both the quantity and quality of rural journalism.

The best of that is recognised in the Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communciators’ annual awards.

Freelancer Hugh De Lacy has won the Rongo,  the top award for agricultural journalists, for 2011.

He won the supreme award, the Rongo Award recognising excellence in agricultural journalism, for articles which appeared in MG Business focussing on far-reaching changes to the strong wool industry and on doing business with China.   The runner-up was Dominion Post farming editor Jon Morgan.

. . . The key objectives of the awards are the encouragement and recognition of excellence in agricultural journalism.

The inaugural winner of the PGG Wrightson Sustainable Land Management Award, is Tim Cronshaw of The Press. This award was established to recognise high quality communication and effective analysis of local, national and global agribusiness and environmental factors that impact on the sustainability of farm businesses.

Lynda Gray of Country-Wide won the AgResearch Science Writers Award, established to enhance standards of science writing, especially about pastoral agriculture.

Elaine Fisher, of the Bay of Plenty Times, won the Horticulture New Zealand Journalism Award, set up to recognise excellence in agricultural journalism focussing on New Zealand’s horticulture industry.

Rebecca Harper, of NZX Agri won the Rural Women of New Zealand Award, which recognises the important contribution women make (and have always made)  in the rural community, either through their role in the farming sector or to the general rural environment.

Hugh Stringleman, of NZX Agri won the AGMARDT Agribusiness Award, which recognises high quality information about and effective analysis of national, global and other agribusiness.

Dominion Post photographer, Phil Reid, won the Federated Farmers Rural Photography Award, for a single photo that illustrates a rural event or activity – agricultural, horticultural, industry, human interest, on farm / off farm, or any activity reflecting life or work in rural New Zealand.

Andrew Stewart of NZX Agri won the Agricultural Journalism Encouragement Award. This is the Guild’s own award and is designed to encourage and recognise excellence among journalists with three or less years reporting on agricultural issues.

Supporting our neighbours

October 21, 2011

Australia or Wales? Dragons or Wallabies?

They meet tonight to decide third and fourth place in the Rugby World Cup and it’s not easy to decide which team to support.

Both teams have New Zealand coaches but if I take them into account I’d opt for Robbie Deans who made such a wonderful contribution to Canterbury rugby – even if several of their wins were against Otago teams.

I know Wales deserved to win last week, and maybe the All Blacks would have a less daunting task on Sunday if they had, but if I have to pick a side, it will be the Wallabies.

It’s not personal, the Welsh are lovely people but most of them are on the other side of the world and Australia’s just next door so I’m opting for our neighbours.

Friday’s answers

October 21, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “It is a noteworthy fact that kicking and beating have played so considerable a part in the habits which necessity has imposed on mankind in past ages that the only way of preventing civilised men from beating and kicking their wives is to organize games in which they can kick and beat balls.”?

2. Name four of the seven All Blacks who have been knighted.

3. It’s jeu in French, gioco in Italian, juego in Spanish (not to be used in place of jugo, which means juice, as I did at an Argentinean cafe)  and purei in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Which university did Graham Henry study at and what qualification did he gain?

5. What will you be doing on Sunday from about 8:45pm?

Points for answers:

Andrei gets four and a bonus for spotting my dropped colon.

David got 2/12 with a bonus for name dropping.

Roger got five and a lucky you for #5 which earns an electronic bag of jelly beans (All Black but not necessarily all black).

Neil got two with a bonus for name dropping and leading me to the full answer (I only knew about Otago and PE until I read your asnwer).

Adam got 2 3/4 (and yes I thought jeu had an x too but I was relying on Google translate which didn’t).

Paul got four with a lucky your too for #5;  a bonus for extra information and a good try (as in attempt, not as in rugby) for #1.

PDM got three with a nod for #4 and a bonus for Mrs PDM’s good sense.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Labour’s ag policy loses last farmer votes

October 21, 2011

If there are any farmers misguided enough to be considering supporting Labour, the announcement of their agriculture policy should persuade them to give their vote to another party which understands farming.

Phil Goff is channelling Winston Peters with the plan to allow the Reserve Bank to play with our currency.

“Labour will amend the Reserve Bank of NZ Act 1989 to broaden the Bank’s primary function so that it includes stability of the currency to give farmers and exporters greater certainty,” Phil Goff said.

Stability? He’s been in parliament long enough to remember just how unstable the currency and economy were when it was managed in the past.

Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says:

. . . while fluctuations in the exchange rate are problematic for exporters, he is not comfortable with any moves to interfere with a market-based mechanism, especially with little detail on what is actually being proposed.

Quite. A floating currency isn’t perfect but it’s better than any alternatives.

Wills gives Labour a couple of bouquets but mostly brickbats for its labour and agricultural policies:

“Labour plans to intervene in industry structures, further confuse the tax system, meddle with the Reserve Bank Act and create uncertainty around overseas investment in farm land,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President.

“To cap it off Labour is proposing a draconian Emissions Trading Scheme policy which puts New Zealand farmers at a severe disadvantage to international competitors by including animal emissions from 2013.

“If Labour wants New Zealand Agriculture to help pay this country’s bills then this policy does not help.

“The ruminant stomach has been around for centuries and science is yet to come up with workable options to make it carbon neutral, so I just don’t see the sense in taxing animal owners for something they can’t control.

“Adding uncertainty to overseas investment is not a sensible policy for encouraging investment in agriculture. Instead it will lower the price for New Zealand sellers and make it cheaper for foreign investors. This is not the most beneficial outcome for New Zealand.

“There is no mention of important issues, like biosecurity or rural roading in Labour’s policy. . .

Labour’s policies aren’t about what’s good for the country or the countryside. They’re admissions the party has given up on this election and is just aiming at its core constituency.

NZ 3rd for ease of doing business

October 21, 2011

New Zealand is third in the world for the ease of doing business in a World Bank report.

Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This
year’s report data cover regulations measured from June 2010 through May 2011.

The report rankings on ease of doing business have expanded to include indicators on getting electricity. The report finds that getting an electrical connection is most efficient in Iceland; Germany; Taiwan, China; Hong Kong SAR, China; and Singapore.

The global report shows that governments in 125 economies out of 183 measured implemented a total of 245 business regulatory reforms—13 percent more reforms than in the previous year. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a record 36 out of 46 economies improved business regulations this year. Over the past six years, 163 economies have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly. China, India, and the Russian Federation are among the 30 economies that improved the most over time.

This year, Singapore led on the overall ease of doing business, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; and Denmark. The Republic of Korea was a new entrant to the top 10. The 12 economies that have improved the ease of doing business the most across several areas of regulation as measured by the report are Morocco, Moldova, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Latvia, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Burundi, the Solomon Islands, the Republic of Korea, Armenia, and Colombia. Two-thirds are low- or lower-middle-income economies.

At a time when persistent unemployment and the need for job creation are in the headlines, governments around the world continue to seek ways to improve the regulatory climate for domestic business. Small and medium businesses that benefit most from these improvements are the key engines for job creation in many parts of the world,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group.

Take note Labour, the key engines for job creation are small and medium businesses which benefit from improvements in the regulatory climate.

That is the opposite of what will be achieved by Labour’s work and wages policy.

 The rankings (with New Zealand’s place in brackets) were based on the ease of starting a business (1), dealing with construction (2) getting electricity (31), registering property (3), getting credit (4), protecting investors (1) , paying taxes (36) , trading across borders (27), enforcing contracts (10) and resolving insolvency (18).

We score worst for trading across borders, getting electricity and paying taxes.

Coming 36th, 31st and 27th respectively out of 183 isn’t bad but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

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