Word of the day

January 20, 2012

Redundant – no longer needed or useful; superfluous; able to be omitted without loss of meaning or function; characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; being in excess; exceeding what is usual or natural; having some unusual or extra part or feature; characterized by superabundance or superfluity.

In engineering:  a structural member not necessary for resisting statically determined stresses; a structure with members designed to resist other than statically determined stresses; hyperstatic; noting a complete truss having additional members for resisting eccentric loads; a device, circuit, computer system, etc with excess or duplicate parts that can continue to perform in the event of malfunction of some of the parts.


5/10

January 20, 2012

Hmm – brain’s still in holiday mode, only 5/10 in the Herald’s changing world quiz.


Supply and demand stronger influence on price than GST

January 20, 2012

The main contributer to the .3% fall in the Consumer Price Index in the December quarter was vegetables.

Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said:

Vegetable prices fell 25 percent in the December 2011 quarter, causing a 2.2 percent fall in overall food prices. 

“The larger-than-usual fall for vegetables reflects a supply shortage in the three months to September,” Mr Pike said. “Basically, vegetable prices were higher than normal last winter, then fell to normal levels towards the end of the year. If vegetable prices had remained constant in the December 2011 quarter, the CPI would have risen 0.1 percent.”

Labour’s election pledge to take GST off fresh fruit and vegetables was never based on reason and these figures show supply and demand have a far bigger impact on price than tax.


Friday’s answers

January 20, 2012

1. Who said: “We sometimes think that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”?

2. Who wrote Poor Man’s Orange, The Harp in the South, A fence Around the Cuckoo and Fishing in the Styx?

3. It’s pauvre in French,  povero  in Italian,  pobre in Spanish and

4. Which marine reserve lies about 20 kilometres off the Tutukaka Coast?

5. Who heads the ministerial committee on poverty?

Points for answers:

Andrei wins an electronic bag of peaches for four right with a bonus for additonal commentary.

Gravedodger got three and a bonus for being the only one to get Ruth Park and commentary.

Grant got three with a bonus for extra information (which doesn’t mean I agree with the pretentious git bit).

PDM got two and a nearly for #5

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


What’s up at Environment Southland?

January 20, 2012

A fixed term contract is just that and employers have the option of renewing it or not.

But why has Environment Southland not taken the option of extending the term of its CEO Ciaran Keogh for another two years when it appears there were no problems with his performance?

At least one councillor appears less than supportive of the move.

Recruitment is not an inexpensive business and seeking a new CEO wouldn’t normally be done without very good reason when the option of extending his term was available.


Plug pulled on Project Hayes

January 20, 2012

After six years of environmental hearings, Meridian Energy has pulled the plug on its Project Hayes wind farm on the Lammermoor Range.

Project Hayes was by far the country’s largest wind farm project when it was first announced, and envisaged a 633.3 Megawatt station with 176 turbines stretching across a plain that is both barren and ecologically important. 

Lovers of the sparsely populated area’s vast landscapes, including former All Black Anton Oliver and painter Grahame Sidney, were among chief opponents of the project, and were the reason the Environment Court turned down Meridian’s application in 2006.

The resource consents granted in 2007 were challenged in the Environment Court, which cancelled them, leading Meridian to appeal the cancellation in a process that had been ongoing until today.  . .

It appears Binns viewed Project Hayes as an expensive legacy issue, which was potentially unwinnable, and he said the economics of the project had become less attractive.

“Our portfolio has developed considerably and our review showed us that other projects now are a higher commercial priority than Project Hayes,” said Binns in a statement.

“Meridian now has a number of potential development options that would be progressed ahead of Project Hayes. Withdrawing the consent applications is not only the most prudent commercial decision for Meridian, but also avoids prolonging uncertainty about this project for the community and the project’s supporters.”

Total costs over the nearly six years the issue has been live amounted to $8.8 million, of which $7.2 million would be written off in the forthcoming annual accounts.

It was a very controversial project which attracted strong opposition but it also had strong support from some locals.

It has cost the company a lot of money and it was also expensive for those opposing it.

The project was started by then- CEO Keith Turner who was also behind Project Aqua, Meridian’s attempt at hydro development on the Lower Waitaki River. Investigations for that were estiamted to have cost the comapny about $95 million before it was canned, although that included purchases of land which were subsequently sold at a profit.

One of the arguments for partial privatisation is that it will impose more rigor on companies which are now 100% owned by the state.

I wonder if the company would have attempted to do this development had a minority shareholding been in private hands and whether that would make a difference in future?


Quote of the day

January 20, 2012

. . . “We mustn’t judge” has become the national mantra.

We actually feel righteous about giving up on any belief in right and wrong, so we can simply feel indulgent about a public slow death from addiction and malnutrition, just as we draw back complacently from condemning a vile crime.

We are, quite simply, morally lazy. It’s too much effort to set our minds to the task of upholding what’s good, and condemning what’s not; we’ve fallen into the trap of believing that an explanation for abhorrent acts is in itself an absolution. . . Rosemary Mcleod


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