Word of the day

June 3, 2012

Lumpen – of or relating to dispossessed, often displaced people who have been cut off from the socioeconomic group with which they would ordinarily be identified; vulgar or common; plebeian.


Oamaru on Fire

June 3, 2012

Oamaru has been on fire this weekend as the country’s steampunk capital celebrates the 2012 SteampunkNZ Festival.

The 2012 SteampunkNZ Festival weekend will launch on Friday with the winter masquerade from Smith’s Grain Store on Tyne St, at 5.30 pm,

The Oamaru on Fire evening in the Historic Precinct $5 follows at 6.30 pm and if you were in the masquerade you have free entry.

Jason Kerrison is the headline act and he goes on to DJ at Fat Sally’ s on Thames St. after 9.00pm.

On Saturday at 11.00am in the Ink Box at the Oamaru Opera House you will be entertained with Neave R. Willoughby’s Magic Lantern  as he takes you on a journey through the History of Steampunk

The afternoon brings a Dickensian touch as we tip our hat to the Old Gent’s 200th birthday with a series of steampunk literary readings. 3.00 pm again at the Ink Box in the Opera House. This is led by worthy Professor Stansa, a poet himself who was naisant in Oamaru and has been drawn back by the lure of Steampunk.

 To dance the night away come to the Loan and Merc Restaurant on Wansbeck St. Here we have the music extravaganza and dirigible/airship racing Local bands have come together to create huge new sounds to accompany the world’s first (as far as we know) indoor dirigible racing. The inaugural world champ will be feted with whisky from the NZ Whisky Co

The piece de resistance is the Steampunk NZ Fashion Show at the Oamaru Opera House on Sunday 2nd June. tickets available from www.ticketdirect.co.nz and door sales.

Finally to complete your Steampunk filled weekend, put the cherry on the cake there is the Steampunk NZ Gala Ball sponsored by Crombie and Price. This is your chance to eat drink and be merry, show the world your steamy personality, dance the night away and connect with those of a similar mind.

If you’ve missed the celebrations, you can still visit Steampunk HQ – and even if it’s after-hours, you can play with the train outside.

Steampunk is a fantastic marriage combination of art, science and imagination and as the weekend programme shows it is also lots of fun.

 


Fonterra seeking clear mandate on TAF

June 3, 2012

Voting packs on Trading Among Farmers (TAF) have gone out to Fonterra shareholders and the company has given an assurance it will require more than a simple majority in support of the move:

Fonterra’s Board will be looking for a clear mandate from the Co-operative’s 10,500 dairy farmers when they vote on Trading Among Farmers (TAF) on June 25, says Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden.

While the TAF resolution at the special shareholder meeting is an ordinary resolution that requires a 50% plus majority to be passed, Sir Henry says the Board won’t be proceeding unless it has a much stronger mandate than that.

“I want a mandate that will unify the Co-operative around this proposed evolution in our capital structure,” he said. “This is the final vote in a long process. Shareholders have given us strong support in the earlier stages and that is what the Board is looking for this time.

“TAF offers a means of sustainably protecting 100% farmer control and ownership into the future and reducing risk to our Co-operative, so we’re looking for a mandate that enables the Board to continue to work towards protecting and strengthening Fonterra,” said Sir Henry.

“We have listened to our farmer shareholders and their key concerns rest on two fundamental points: Preserving 100% control and ownership and the integrity of the Farmgate Milk Price.

“Accordingly, we have proposed a range of resolutions for farmer shareholders to vote on that will tighten limits on the size of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, which is fundamental to 100% farmer control and ownership, and preserve the integrity of the Farmgate Milk Price.

“These resolutions would require Constitutional change and would therefore involve a 75% vote.

“We propose to decrease the threshold on the size of the Fund from 25% to 20% of total shares, and decrease the number of Dry shares on issue from 25% to 15%,” said Sir Henry.

TAF is the company’s response to redemption risk – the very real threat of too many shareholders redeeming shares at high prices.

The other risk is suppliers choosing to leave the company, or being put off joining, as share prices rise when competitors don’t require the up-front expense of share purchases.

He said that robust modelling and much deliberation by the Board had informed the recommendation for a lower 20% threshold which struck the right balance between flexibility to manage seasonal milk fluctuations and controls to manage risk.

“While we intend to operate the Fund at a size of 7%-12% of total Fonterra shares on issue, we do need breathing room to take account of seasonal changes in milk volume,” he said.

“Milk production is driven by weather — for example this year we anticipated 3% milk growth but got 10%. Add 10% growth to our 7%-12% ideal Fund size and a 15% cap is too restrictive.”

He said that over time the Fund would be managed within the target size range, but the Constitutional limit needed to be higher to allow for seasonal shifts in milk production.

“It’s a combination of hard maths and good judgement that leads us to recommend 20%,” he said.

Sir Henry said another key resolution was to enshrine protections for setting the Farmgate Milk Price in the Co-operative’s Constitution so that future changes would require a 75%-plus majority.

“The proposal is that the Shareholders’ Council’s appointment to the Milk Price Panel be added to the constitution,” he said.

“This underpins the integrity of the Farmgate Milk Price going forward,” said Sir Henry. “Unlikely as it might be, were a future Board were to bow to pressure from investors in the Fund, this would become obvious and the Council’s constitutional ability to protect the process provides a further assurance for farmers.”

He said that Commerce Commission oversight of the Farmgate Milk Price formula — a process being worked through independently of TAF — provided a further safeguard in terms of transparency.

The farm gate price is the main reason farmers want to retain ownership of the company. If non-suppliers had control the pressure would be on to lower the price to provide higher dividends.

 


Higher for some, lower for others

June 3, 2012

Labour’s superannuation policy appears to be a wee bit confused.

They want the age at which it is first paid raised to 67, but they’re also suggesting that  people who do tough manual work should be paid super at 60.

They don’t define “tough” but a lot of people who do manual work are fitter and better able to work than many people several years their junior.

We employ a couple of those.

One came to do three days work more than 20 years ago and is still with us. He’s 82.

The second crutches sheep for us every working day. When he runs out of stock in need of his skill he grubs thistles – and he’s 81. That’s more than two decades past Labour’s would-be retirement age for manual workers.

He doesn’t work a full week though – proving his mind is as fit as his body, he takes Wednesday afternoons off to play bridge.


June 3 in history

June 3, 2012

350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor.

1140  French scholar Peter Abelard was found guilty of heresy.

1326 Treaty of Novgorod delineated borders between Russia and Norway in Finnmark.

1539 Hernado de Soto claimed Florida for Spain.

1608  Samuel de Champlain completed his third voyage to New France at Tadoussac, Quebec.

1620 Construction of the oldest stone church in French North America, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, began in Quebec City.

1621  The Dutch West India Company received a charter for New Netherlands.

1658  Pope Alexander VII appointed François de Laval vicar apostolic in New France.

1659 David Gregory, Scottish astronomer and mathematician, was born  (d. 1708).

1665  James Stuart, Duke of York (later to become King James II of England) defeated the Dutch Fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.

1770  Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was founded in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

1726 James Hutton, Scottish geologist, was born  (d. 1797).

1800 U.S. President John Adams took up residence in Washington, D.C. (in a tavern because the White House was not yet completed).

1808 Jefferson Davis, American politician and President of the Confederate States of America was born (d. 1889).

1839 Lin Tse-hsü destroyed 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War.

1861  Battle of Philippi (also called the Philippi Races) – Union forces routed Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia in first land battle of the War.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Cold Harbor – Union forces attacked Confederate troops in Hanover County, Virginia.

1865 George V was born  (d. 1936).

1866  The Fenians were driven out of Fort Erie, Ontario, into the United States.

1885 In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil Cree leader Big Bear escaped the North West Mounted Police.

1888 The poem “Casey at the Bat“, by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, was published in the San Francisco Examiner.

1889  The coast to coast Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.

1889  The first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States was completed, running 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.

1916 The Reserve Officer Training Corp, ROTC , was established by the U.S. Congress.

1916 – The National Defense Act was signed into law, increasing the size of the United States National Guard by 450,000 men.

1921 Forbes Carlile, Australian Olympic swimmer and coach, was born.

1924 Jimmy Rogers, American blues guitarist, was born  (d. 1997).

1935 One thousand unemployed Canadian workers boarded freight cars in Vancouver,  beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario.

1936 Sir Colin “Pine Tree”  Meads, farmer and former All Black, was born.

Colin 'Pinetree' Meads born

1937  The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson.

1940 – World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk ended with a German victory and Allied forces in full retreat.

1947 Mickey Finn, British guitarist and percussionist (T.Rex), was born  (d. 2003).

1950 Suzi Quatro, American musician and actress, was born.

1956 British Railways renamed ‘Third Class’ passenger facilities as ‘Second Class’ (Second Class facilities had been abolished in 1875, leaving just First Class and Third Class).

1962 Susannah Constantine, British fashion guru, was born.

1962  An Air France Boeing 707 charter, Chateau de Sully crashed after an aborted takeoff from Paris, killing 130.

1963  The Buddhist crisis: Soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam attacked protesting Buddhists in Huế,  with liquid chemicals from tear gas grenades, causing 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments.

1963  A Northwest Airlines DC-7 crashed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, killing 101.

1965  Launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Crew-member Ed White performed the first American spacewalk.

1968 Valerie Solanas, author of SCUM Manifesto, attempted to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him three times.

1969  Melbourne-Evans collision: Off the coast of South Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne cut the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in half.

1973  A Soviet supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 crashed near Goussainville  killing 14, the first crash of a supersonic passenger aircraft.

1979  A blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the southern Gulf of Mexico caused at least 600,000 tons (176,400,000 gallons) of oil to be spilled into the waters.

1982  The Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, was shot on a London street. He survived but was permanently paralysed.

1989  The government of China sent troops to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.

1989  SkyDome was officially opened in Toronto.

1991 Mount Unzen erupted in Kyūshū, Japan, killing 43 people, all of them either researchers or journalists.

1992 Aboriginal Land Rights were granted in Australia in Mabo v Queensland (1988), a case brought about by Eddie Mabo.

1998  Eschede train disaster: an ICE high speed train derailed in Lower Saxony causing 101 deaths.

2006 The union of Serbia and Montenegro endedwith Montenegro’s formal declaration of independence.

2007  USS Carter Hall engaged  pirates after they boarded the Danish ship Danica White off the coast of Somalia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: