Word of the day


Flagitious – criminal, felonious, villainous; infamous; scandalous; shamefully wicked; heinous or flagrant.

Rural round-up


Sustainability Helpful in mix no matter what style – Sally Rae:

Good farming in New Zealand should be celebrated – no matter what approach a farmer takes.

That is the message from Prof Henrik Moller from the Centre for Sustainability: Agriculture, Food, Energy, Environment at the University of Otago.

Prof Moller is part of the Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability (Argos), a joint venture between the AgriBusiness Group, Lincoln University and the University of Otago. . .

Hazelnuts’ potential discussed – Sally Rae:

Hazelnut growing could deliver returns exceeding those from dairy farming if growers could achieve the yields and orchard management cost efficiencies achieved in Chile, Oregon and Italy.

That is the message from Hazelnut Growers Association of New Zealand (HGANZ) chairman Murray Redpath, who was in Central Otago recently for the organisation’s annual meeting. . .

Meat season hits the wall – Allan Barber:

Settlement of the industrial dispute at AFFCO barely came in time to beat the passing of the season’s processing peak. Contrary to expectations that the supply of cattle, particularly cull dairy cows, would last until the end of June at least, the flow has virtually dried up.

After 34 weeks of the meat year which runs from 1 October to 30 September, slaughter volumes for all species are below both last season and the five year average.

While there are variations between islands and species, the only stock types which have a chance of exceeding last year’s national total are lamb and prime steer. If this occurs it will only be by the slimmest of margins.

Award winning young farmer hopes to inspire:

A  22-year-old self-employed dairy farmer hopes his success through winning a new Maori farming award will inspire other young, troubled Maori to follow their dreams.

Tangaroa Walker, who has strong cultural links in Tauranga district (Ngati Ranginui/ Ngati Pukenga/ Pirirakau), won the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Trainee/Cadet award recently.
The award was created to encourage young Maori workers between 16 and 25 to move into leadership roles. . .
Italian tomato dumping has small impact on NZ market – Hannah Lynch:

June 11 (BusinessDesk) – The dumping of Italian processed tomatoes onto the New Zealand market has been found to have little impact, according to a Ministry of Economic Development report.

Heinz Watties Limited, which sells canned tomatoes under the Watties and Oak brands, made a complaint about dumping of Italian tomatoes with the ministry in July 2011. The report, “Dumping Investigation, Preserved Tomatoes Investigation” found that one, a producer called Conserve Italia Agricultural Cooperative Society, had dumped the products.

“There is evidence of an increase in the volume of dumped imports in absolute terms and in relation to production in New Zealand,” the report said. “There is evidence of only a slight increase in dumped import volumes relative to consumption in New Zealand.” . . .

Orchard joins FON programme:

A SECOND focus orchard has been established in Gisborne as part of the Zespri Focus Orchard Network (FON) programme.

Designed to bring growers the latest research information, the programme involves monitoring growing conditions in Gisborne and will help demonstrate how to produce the new varieties of kiwifruit.

Management of both orchards is geared toward improving productivity and a new financial system on the orchard will provide an analysis of orchard management decisions, says Zespri’s communication spokesperson, Rachel Lynch.

Search for ideal clover – Jill Galloway:


A plant breeder says finding the parent clovers of New Zealand’s white clover could lead to an to agricultural plant better adapted for farming.


AgResearch Grasslands Palmerston North clover specialist Warren Williams said it may enable them to better breed a drought-tolerant, low fertility and low temperature-growing white clover.


New Zealand white clover was a mainstay of agriculture and was worth more than $2 billion to farming each year, Dr Williams said.


“That was years ago, probably, with dairying expansion, it is close to $3b each year now.” . . . 

Do we need a race relations commissioner?


Like Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock, I’m not sorry that Race Relations Comissioner Joris de Bres is coming to the end of his term.

Sometimes his pronouncements, or lack of them suggested he thought some races were more equal than others.

The Justice Ministry is inviting applications for a replacement..

It comes as an amendment to the Human Rights Act has been introduced to Parliament that could see the position abolished. Mr de Bres, 65, had “some concerns” about the possibility, but the amendment had not yet passed its first reading.

I have just read Alison Wong’s book As The Earth Turns Silver.

The plot is fiction but based on facts about discrimination against Chinese immigrants.  The book also depicts discrimination against women. It was less violent but still harmful.

Recent reaction to the sale of farms to Shanghai Pengxin,  shows that race relations haven’t progressed nearly as far as they need to.

But discrimination isn’t confined to race and I’m not convinced singling it out for special treatment is necessary when similar ignorance is directed at people for other reasons including, but not confined to, gender and disability.

All such discrimination is wrong and I think the Human Rights Commission ought to be able to counter it without the need for individual commissioners.

More gain from more green?


Would New Zealand gain more from being greener?

“New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race” , a report by the business group Pure Advantage is certain it would:

. . . The report explains how green growth is a path to improved economic performance, better paying jobs, the protection of our environment, and improved health outcomes for New Zealand.

The report highlights that what has been missing from the discussion over the change to a green economy, is the many benefits of green growth. Much of the debate in New Zealand to date has focused on the downside, the various costs and obligations. But rather than a burden, green growth can be an economic pathway to create sustainable wealth and promises a revolution in how we structure our economy and society . . .

But what exactly is green growth?

The report defines it:

Green growth is the aggregated economic benefit that comes from minimising waste and the inefficient use of energy, reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing natural resources and biodiversity. it is an economic progression driven by a series of interrelated and unprecedented global commercial imperatives, including the geopolitical drive for domestic energy security, exploding population growth, changing social demographics, mounting climate obligations, rapid decarbonisation of economies towards renewable energy and initiatives to conserve natural resources, particularly water. rather than a burden, green growth is an economic pathway to sustainable wealth.

Global green growth is potentially worth NZ$6 trillion a year. to date much of the green debate in New Zealand has focused on the downside: costs and enforced obligations. Pure advantage has been formed to focus on the economic upside of being green and to catalyse the implementation of green growth economic strategies in New Zealand. we believe that enhancing New Zealand’s environment represents a huge opportunity for New Zealand to improve our international competitive position. 

But what exactly does that mean in practice? Presumably it means more green jobs, but what are they?

Tim Worstall found the US Labor statistics’ definition:

Green jobs are either:
A. Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
B. Jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

What this means is that absolutely everyone who works at an oil refinery has a green job. For everyone who does work at an oil refinery is trying to “use fewer natural resources”. In fact, everyone who works in anything at all of a capitalist or market nature now has a green job. For all of us are, always, attempting to reduce the resources we use in order to produce our output.

There is more to a green economy than green jobs and there is little doubt that  green is a powerful brand for the upper and middle income people to whom we want to sell our produce.

We could gain from being greener, if we could agree on what that meant, if that definition and the practices built on it were science-based, and balanced environmental, economic and social concerns and was not just greenwash.

Govt will pay family caregivers


When you have young children, finding someone to look after them is necessary if you are to have a break.

That isn’t always easy and it is even more of a challenge if the child has a disability.
We were fortunate when our son, who had a brain disorder and passed none of the developmental milestones, was alive that we had family and friends near by who were willing to look after him for us.

We were eligible for respite care which meant those sharing the care could be paid, but that generosity applied to strangers or friends, not family.

I understand the thought that baby sitting family members is what grandparents, aunts and uncles do for each other.  But there is extra responsibility and demands in caring for children with disabilities.

If they’ve multiple disabilities it gets harder as they grow physically without developing intellectually. This places more demands on the parents, increasing the need for breaks and requiring more from those who take over the care.
We never had to face the decision of putting Dan into permanent care because he died when he was five. But many other parents face that decision and some choose to keep their adult offspring at home.
That imposes costs on them, including the opportunity cost of not being able to do paid work. Adults with disabilities do receive a benefit but that is for their needs, not recompense for their parents who are caring for them.
The family members providing care do so at cost to themselves while saving public money because the people with disabilities would be eligible for full time care.
That strangers could be paid to do the same work family members undertake at their own cost was one of the motivations for taking the government to court.
It found in the families’ favour and Health Minister Tony Ryall says the government won’t appeal.

“The Government accepts the current Health Ministry policy of not paying the close family carers of adults with disabilities needs to change, and we will not be seeking leave to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.”

“We have begun the process of reviewing the MOH policy with respect to family caregivers. We expect a new policy addressing the issues raised in this case to be substantially developed this year.
“The future policy needs to balance the interests of those who are being cared for, the families and the taxpayers. It will address the discrimination. But it must be affordable.
It must also contain safeguards for the people with disabilities to ensure that they are getting the care they need.
These are vulnerable people and while in most cases they will be loved and looked after well by families, there is the opportunity for exploitation and abuse.

Residential services for people with intellectually disabled people are independently audited and evaluated to ensure those in care get the physical, emotional and intellectually support they need.

That could be a step too far for families but if people are taking money to care for others there must be something in place to ensure the right to be paid is balanced by the responsibility to look after those in their care properly.

June 13 in history


823 Charles the Bald , Holy Roman Emperor and King of the West Franks,was born (d. 877).

1249 – Coronation of Alexander III as King of Scots.

1373 – Anglo-Portuguese Alliance between England (succeeded by the United Kingdom) and Portugal – the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.

1525 Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns.

1584  Miyamoto Musashi, Legendary Samurai warrior, artist, and author of The Book of Five Rings, was born (d. 1645).

1625  King Charles I married French princess Henrietta Maria de Bourbon.

1752 Fanny Burney, English novelist and diarist, was born (d. 1840).

1774  Rhode Island became the first of Britain’s North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves.

1777 American Revolutionary War: Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.

1798 Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded.

1805  Lewis and Clark Expedition: scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sighted the Great Falls of the Missouri River.

1863 Lady Lucy Duff Gordon, English fashion designer, was born (d. 1935).

1865 William Butler Yeats, Irish writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1937).
1866 The Burgess Gang murdered five men on the Maungatapu track, south-east of Nelson.
Murder on the Maungatapu track

1871  In Labrador, a hurricane killed 300 people.

1881 The USS Jeannette was crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.

1883 Henry George Lamond, Australian farmer and author was born (d. 1969).

1886  A fire devastatesd much of Vancouver.

1886 – King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found dead in Lake Starnberg south of Munich.

1893 Dorothy L. Sayers, English author, was born (d. 1957).

1893 Grover Cleveland underwent secret, successful surgery to remove a large, cancerous portion of his jaw; the operation wasn’t revealed to the public until 1917, nine years after the president’s death.

1898 Yukon Territory was formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital.

1910 Mary Whitehouse, British campaigner, was born (d. 2001).

1910  The University of the Philippines College of Engineering was established.

1917  World War I: the deadliest German air raid on London during World War I was carried out by Gotha G bombers and resulted in 162 deaths, including 46 children, and 432 injuries.

1927 – Slim Dusty, Australian singer, was born (d. 2003)

1927 Aviator Charles Lindbergh received a ticker-tape parade down 5th Avenue in New York.

1934  Adolf Hitler and Mussolini met in Venice.

1942 The United States opened its Office of War Information.

1942 The United States established the Office of Strategic Services.

1944 Ban Ki-Moon, South Korean United Nations Secretary-General, was born.

1944 World War II: Germany launched a counter attack on Carentan.

1944 – World War II: Germany launched a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England. Only four of the eleven bombs actually hit their targets.

1949 Dennis Locorriere, American singer and guitarist (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show), was born.

1952  Catalina affair: a Swedish Douglas DC-3 was shot down by a Soviet MiG-15 fighter.

1953 Tim Allen, American comedian and actor, was born.

1955 Mir Mine, the first diamond mine in the USSR, was discovered.

1966 The United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.

1967  U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

1970 Chris Cairns, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

Chris Cairns from side.jpg

1970  ”The Long and Winding Road” became the Beatles’ last Number 1 song.

1971  Vietnam War: The New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers.

1978  Israeli Defense Forces withdrew from Lebanon.

1981 At the Trooping the Colour ceremony a teenager, Marcus Sarjeant, fired six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II.

1982  Fahd became King of Saudi Arabia on the death of his brother, Khalid.

1983 – Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system.

1994  A jury in Anchorage blamed recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.

1995  French president Jacques Chirac announced the resumption of nuclear tests in French Polynesia.

1996 The Montana Freemen surrendered after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents.

1997 Uphaar cinema fire, in New Delhi, killed 59 people, and over 100 people injured.

1997 American fugitive Ira Einhorn was arrested in France for the murder of Holly Maddux after 16 years on the run.

2000  President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea met Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit.

2000  Italy pardoned Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

2002 The United States of America withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2005  A jury in Santa Maria, California acquitted pop singer Michael Jackson of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch.

2007  The Al Askari Mosque was bombed for a third time.

2010 – A capsule of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, containing particles of the asteroid 25143 Itokawa, returned to Earth.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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