Thanatopsis – meditation or reflection on, or contemplation of death.
0/10 – all guesses and all wrong for the Herald’s entertainment quiz.
I consider that a good reflection on my priorities – spoiled somewhat by continuing to waste my time on the quiz.
When sheep prices were in the doldrums most of the fingers were pointed at the meat industry.
But meat is only part of the value of sheep and lambs. Until the last couple of seasons it wasn’t just meat prices but returns for by-products like wool, pelts, lanolin which were also low.
In the last couple of years returns from sheep and lambs has been much better, partly because of the increased demand and consequently price of meat but also because of higher demand and prices for the by-products.
Among those is lanolin, the price of which has doubled as sheep numbers have dropped.
New Zealand Wool Services International (WSI) – one of the country’s two scour operators – says prices for that product have almost doubled
in the past two years.
WSI chairman Derek Kirke says like wool, the price surge has been driven by a world supply shortage, due to the drop in sheep numbers.
Tailing hasn’t finished yet but early indications are this year’s lamb tally will be well up on last season’s which was hit by big losses after the September snow.
Not all of those will be sold this season, if feed supply allows it, farmers will hold some stock back to rebuild flocks.
Demand is still expected to remain high although there will be a ceiling to the price.
Lamb is already out of reach of the budget conscious and there will consumer resistance from those with more disposable income if the price gets too much higher.
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In announcing the death of Roger Kerr, Business Round table chief executive, the New Zealand Herald quotes Sir Douglas Myers who calls him a national treasure.
I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him but have long admired him through his writing.
He explained his views simply and backed up opinions with fact.
He made huge contributions to business and public policy.
His death is a loss to New Zealand.
It is an even greater loss to his family and friends to whom I offer my sympathy and this:
Turn Again To Life
If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others sore undone who keep
Long vigil by the silent dust and weep.
For my sake, turn again to life and smile,
Renewing they heart and trembling hand to
That which will comfort other souls than
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of
And I perchance may therein comfort you.
Mary Lee Hall.
His wife, Catherine Isaac, will be carrying on his work should she get into parliament.
UPDATE: TV3 has republished a transcript of his last interview on The Nation.
If you’re on the minimum wage, Labour’s promise to increase it to $15 would be appealing if you didn’t think too hard about it.
But as Trans-Tasman points out:
. . . this is counting on the economic naiveté of those who believe jobs and wages can be created by Govt.
The only way governments can create jobs and improve pay rates is by taking more money from taxpayers.
Sustainable job creation and wage increases come from private sector growth and increased productivity, not by decrees which make it more risky and expensive to employee people.
Labour is also bargaining on short memories, John Armstrong says:
After Tuesday’s fiscal update, Phil Goff claimed that had it not been for Labour’s previous “careful management” of the books, New Zealand might now be in the same precarious position as Greece, Europe’s economic basket case.
The facts are somewhat different. Having spent taxpayers’ money like a drunken sailor to stay in power, Labour left office in 2008 with surplus having turned to deficit through the combination of a domestic downturn and the global financial downturn.
National had barely got its feet under the Cabinet table before the Treasury further revised its forecasts and projected deficits of $6 billion-plus.
So much for “careful management”. Labour is relying on short memories to rewrite history, however. It won’t fool everybody. But in the heat of an election campaign, it is easy to spout fiction and difficult to establish fact.
Labour cannot be excused such distortions and mistruths. But it is in a desperate and parlous position.
Desperate and parlous indeed.
But if they’re trusting voters’ economic naiveté and short memories to let them get away with bad policy and rewriting history they’re also showing they can’t be trusted.
Have they forgotten or are they prepared to overlook how bad he’s been every time he’s been in government and how he can’t be trusted?
Or does Phil Goff lack the principles to say he’d rather stay out of government than be in it with Peters as John Key did?
Let’s hope voters can be trusted more than labour. Lindsay’s comment in the previous post shows, the prospect of a Labour, Green, Maori, Mana and New Zealand First coalition should help National and its potential coalition partners.