Word of the day


Fugacious –  fleeting; transitory, lasting a short time.

Poor more likely to be perpetrators and victims


Quote of the day:

One cannot say often enough that the victims of crime are, like the perpetrators, more likely to be poor than rich. For example, single-parent households in Britain have a more than one-in-20 chance of being burgled in any given year; and since most burglars are recidivists, indeed multiply so, it follows that the class of victim is much larger than the class of perpetrator. Leniency toward criminals is not therefore a form of sympathy for the poor, but a failure to take either their lives or their property seriously. Theodore Dalrymple



9/9 in the NZTA quiz on who give way to whom with the new road rules.

Hat tip: Kiwiblog

Comment after the break best read after you do the quiz in case it spoils it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fonterra drops forecast payout


Fonterra has just announced a revised payout forecast for the 2011/12 season of $6.75 – $6.85, for a fully shared up farmer, 15 cents down on the previous forecast.

The media release says:

The revised forecast comprises a lower Fonterra Farmgate Milk Price of $6.35 per kg milksolids, down from $6.50. The season’s Distributable Profit range forecast of NZD 570 – 720 million, equating to 40-50 cents per share remains unchanged.

Fonterra is required to consider its Farmgate Milk Price every quarter as a condition of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA).

Fonterra Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said the lower Farmgate Milk Price forecast reflected declining commodity prices and a stronger New Zealand dollar.

“We’ve had price declines in the five out of the last six Global Dairy Trade (GDT) trading events,” said Sir Henry. 

Overall, the GDT-Trade Weighted Index is down 5.7 per cent since December 13 2011 when the forecast of $6.50 per kgMS was announced.

Sir Henry said the New Zealand dollar’s continuing strength, higher levels of global milk production, and uncertainties in international markets led to the Board decision to lower the Fonterra Farmgate Milk Price forecast.

Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the trends were indicating for stronger global production continuing into 2012. 

 “While we have had a strong start to the season in New Zealand, with record milk flows, we are also seeing higher milk production levels in the US and Europe.

“International milk powder demand, however, currently appears robust which should help offset the impact of the stronger milk supply growth.

“In the past few weeks, global markets seem to be reacting to the ongoing economic difficulties in Greece, the potential for conflict in the Middle East and China’s reduced growth forecast. These events appear to be having a negative influence on most commodity prices.

“We think dairy commodity prices are likely to remain under some pressure through to mid-2012,” said Mr Spierings.

I blogged last week, wondering if the company was softening shareholders up for a drop in the forecast payout.

Falls in auction prices while small have been consistent, some of our competitors have increased production and the global economic situation is uncertain.

However,  this forecast payout is still above average.

Fonterra will announce its interim results and dividend on March 29th.

The root of the problem


Lindsay Mitchell gets to the root of the problem of child abuse:

the incidence of Harm Standard physical abuse was  significantly lower for children living with two married biological  parents compared to children living in all other conditions. An  estimated 1.9 per 1,000 children living with two married biological  parents suffered Harm Standard physical abuse, compared to 5.9 or more  per 1,000 children in other circumstances. In addition, children whose  single parent had an unmarried, live–in partner were at significantly higher risk of Harm Standard physical abuse (19.5 children per 1,000)…

This is not an indictment on everyone whose marriage fails.

Some children will have safer more stable homes with one parent than they had with both.

But that doesn’t change the statistics which show that children with one parent are more likely to be abused and those whose parent has a live-in partner are in even greater danger.


Shearer’s land law an ass


Labour leader David Shearer has listened to the xenophobes and come up with a new law to restrict land ownership by foreigners.

“A clean, clever and job-rich future is not going to be achieved by selling off our productive assets. Kiwis are overwhelmingly opposed to the sale of prime rural land, like the Crafar farms, to overseas investors. We are listening to them and are prepared to act in their best interests.

The Overseas Investment (Owning Our Own Rural Land) Amendment Bill would substantially limit the discretion of the Minister to consent to the sale of rural land to overseas buyers.

It would require the Minister to be satisfied that the overseas investment would result in the creation of a substantial number of additional jobs in New Zealand or a substantial increase in exports from new technology or products associated with the purchase.

Why don’t they just ban sales to foreigners outright?

It would be almost impossible to create a substantial number – whatever that might be – of additional jobs here from the purchase of a farm; new technology doesn’t necessarily increase exports – though it might make processing them more efficient and reduce jobs in the process.

“The Government already has discretion to turn down farm sales to overseas buyers but it is not being properly exercised. . . “

Would he rather ministers exercised the law as Chris carter did over the Whangamata Marina and have the decision overturned in court?

 Selling our farmland to foreign buyers does not improve our economy. Instead the profits simply flow offshore.

Not necessarily.

A friend manages a farming business for overseas owners who year after year put profits back into improving the farm and upgrading plant and machinery.

We also do not want to see New Zealand farms priced out of the reach of Kiwi farmers who are the best in the world at what they do.

Do they care that the equity kiwi farmers have in their land could be destroyed instead by falling prices instead?

The anti-foreign ownership campaign started with the sale of the Crafar farms, some of which were proof that not all Kiwi farmers farm well.

What’s better, locals farming badly without the expertise, will and/or money to do better or foreigners farming well?

Most people upset about foreign ownership either never will own farms themselves nor want to. A good number of them will never get closer to a farm than a glance out a window as they drive down a main road.

The nationality of who does own those farms will have no impact on them at all nor will it have any impact on how well the farms are run.

This law is not in New Zealand’s nor New Zealander’s best interests.

It’s an ass.

If Shearer and his party really want to help New Zealanders own farms they should address the cause of their inability to do so – lack of money.

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