Word of the day

February 13, 2012

Emolument– advantage, benefit,  profit, or wage received  as compensation from labour, being employed  or holding an office.


Vote for best cheese

February 13, 2012

New World is inviting people to vote for the People’s Choice in the Cuisine Cheese Awards.

You can only vote for one cheese, vote only once and when you’ve voted you can’t see anything in the other categories.

They’re listed in alphabetical order so you have to go right to the end to get to the best: Whitestone.

I started with the blues and voted for New Zealand’s best – Whitestone Windsor Blue, which is the last listed in that category.

Having done that I wasn’t able to see the options for other categories but Whitestone is sure to be well represented there and if I was choosing a soft cheese I’d have gone for Whitestone Waitaki Camembert.

If you vote you’re in the draw to win tickets to the Monteith’s CheeseFest on Wednesday, 29 February at The Langham in Auckland, two nights accommodation there, dinner and a The Langham, dinner, a  Tiffin Afternoon Tea and a $500 VISA Prezzy Card.


How much road is enough?

February 13, 2012


Fonterra inviting applications for assistance in Christchurch

February 13, 2012

Any politician knows that you rarely get acknowledged for the good you do and will always be criticised for any lapses.

Businesses suffer from a similar lack of appreciation.

Take Fonterra for example.

When the company’s plan to provide free milk for low decile schools was announced their was some appreciation but the predominant sentiment was, and so they should.

If many ever knew that Fonterra had donated more than $6 million to the Canterbury earthquake recovery, most will have forgotten.

A newsletter to suppliers reminds us:

Immediately after each quake, Fonterra provided on-the-ground Civil Defence support including the provision of water through milk vats and tankers, distribution of UHT and flavoured milk to welfare centres, and assistance with the urban search and rescue effort through our 24-strong Emergency Response Team. Our suppliers also provided emergency accommodation for people affected by the earthquake.

To further assist the Christchurch community, we created a fund that acted as a central collection point for donations from suppliers, staff and joint venture partners.
Fonterra pledged $1 million after each quake. Our suppliers, staff and joint venture partners raised a further $1.9 million for a total of $3.9 million that was donated directly to the Red Cross.

Fonterra also matched dollar-for-dollar the $1.9 million raised to create the ongoing Fonterra Rebuilding Communities Programme. Through Rebuilding Communities, Fonterra has provided donations to The Prime Minister’s Earthquake Relief Appeal, Canterbury Business Recovery Fund and Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga Telethon. The Programme has also welcomed applications for funding for direct assistance to Christchurch community groups, clubs and schools.

A final call for funding is open until the end of the month. Any funds left after February 29 will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.

Applications can request funding of up to $5,000 for initiatives that fall into the following categories:

1.Community Safety – development of new safety projects such as safety equipment or training to further prepare the community for future disasters. Support in the past has gone to survival kits and first aid training.
2.Christchurch Community – support in replacing essential wellbeing equipment such as toys and books for libraries. This has a positive effect for families, especially children.
3.Environmental Sustainability – restoration of environmental areas which encourage community spirit in schools, early childhood centres and the wider local community. Previous examples include replanting trees and replacing garden beds.

If you know of any groups which could benefit from this funding please spread the word.


Quote of the day

February 13, 2012

“But economic recovery must be earned. And it will be earned by entrepreneurs and it will be earned by small businesses.” Jon Huntsman, Jr.


Foreign ownership turns round farm

February 13, 2012

New Zealand is an exceptionally good farming nation and our top farmers could compete with those from any other country.

That doesn’t mean all our farmers and good and that people from other farmers can’t do better than some from here.

A case in point is the United States investment in the Maniototo:

The multibillion-dollar Harvard University endowment fund has achieved what the former owners of the Maniototo’s Big Sky dairy farm only envisioned – profitably milking more than      6000 cows in a “super herd”.   

Harvard’s New Zealand subsidiary was targeting production of 1.8 million kg of milk solids over three years, but fund managers yesterday declined to comment further on the operation, other than what is in its annual financial return.   

Harvard’s endowment fund purchased Big Sky from receivership in October 2010 for about $32 million, and had since expanded the herd about five-fold to 6318 cows valued at $9.83 million, turning around a $1.1 million loss in 2010 to a  $4.87 million after-tax profit for the year to June 2011.   

The fund paid a lot of money for the farms, have invested more:

Investments for the year totalled $8.3 million, including $7.9 to Fonterra, with the balance to local irrigation, fertiliser and rural supply companies.   

Then there are wages for staff, repairs and maintenance, general running costs, rates and tax,  all of which feed in to our economy.

The Patearoa farm was initially proposed in early 2001 as a “super farm”, to run up to 6000 cows on 1600ha using supplementary feed, a proposal which prompted widespread      criticism at the time.   

Until its receivership and subsequent sale, Big Sky had been running up to 3300 cows on about 1300ha.   

It is possible New Zealand owners could have done as well. But the Havard Fund has put a lot of money into the farms and deserves the return it is getting.

 


February 13 in history

February 13, 2012

711 BC  Jimmu, Japanese emperor, was born (d. 585 DC).

1503 Disfida di Barletta challenge between 13 Italian and 13 French knights near Barletta.

1542 – Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VII , was executed for adultery.

1575 Henry III of France was crowned at Rheims and married Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont on the same day.

1633 Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition.

1668 Spain recognised Portugal as an independent nation.

1689 William and Mary were proclaimed co-rulers of England.

1692 Massacre of Glencoe: About 78 Macdonalds at were killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.

1728 John Hunter, Scottish surgeon, was born (d. 1793).

1743 Joseph Banks, English botanist and naturalist, was born (d. 1820).

1815 The Cambridge Union Society was founded.

1835 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, was born ( d 1908).

1849 Lord Randolph Churchill, British statesman, was born (d. 1895).

1869 A Ngati Maniapoto war party led by Wetere Te Rerenga attacked Pukearuhe. They killed  Lieutenant Gascoigne, his wife and three children and a Wesleyan missionary John Whiteley.

Killings at Pukearuhe

1880 Work began on the covering of the Zenne, burying Brussels’s primary river and creating the modern central boulevards.

1880 – Thomas Edison observed the Edison effect.

1881 The feminist newspaper La Citoyenne was first published in Paris by the activist Hubertine Auclert.

 

1891 Kate Roberts, Welsh nationalist and writer, was born.

1894 Auguste and Louis Lumière patented the Cinematographe, a combination movie camera and projector.

1914 The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was established to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

1920 The Negro National League was formed.

1934 The Soviet steamship Cheliuskin sank in the Arctic Ocean.

1942 Peter Tork, American musician and actor (The Monkees), was born.

1944 Jerry Springer, American television host, was born.

1945 The siege of Budapest concluded with the unconditional surrender of German and Hungarian forces to the Red Army.

1945 World War II: Royal Air Force bombers were dispatched to Dresden to attack the city with a massive aerial bombardment.

1950 Peter Gabriel, English musician (Genesis), composer and humanitarian, was born.

1955 Israel obtained 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls.

1960 France tested its first atomic bomb.

1960 Black college students staged the first of the Nashville sit-ins at three lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.

1967 American researchers discovered the Madrid Codices by Leonardo da Vinci in the National Library of Spain.

1970 Black Sabbath, arguably the first heavy metal album, was released.

1978 Hilton bombing: a bomb exploded in a refuse truck outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, killing two refuse collectors and a policeman.

1979 An intense windstorm struck western Washington and sank a 1/2-mile-long section of the Hood Canal Bridge.

1982  Río Negro massacre in Guatemala.

1981 A series of sewer explosions destroyed more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.

1984 Konstantin Chernenko succeeded the late Yuri Andropov as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1990 German reunification: An agreement was reached on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany.

1991 Gulf War: Two laser-guided “smart bombs” destroyed the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad.

2000 The last original “Peanuts” comic strip appeared in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz died.

Peanuts gang.png

2001 An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter Scale hit El Salvador, killing at least 400.

2004 The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced the discovery of the universe’s largest known diamond white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star “Lucy” after The Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.

2008 Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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