Word of the day



Bafflegab – confusing or generally unintelligible jargon; gobbledygook.

Rural round-up


Shearing industry shoulders blame for alcohol abuse:

The New Zealand Shearing industry yet again shoulders the blame for alcohol abuse and subsequent driving accidents by people who either work in the industry, or are associated with it. That’s the view of New Zealand Shearing Contractors’ Association (NZSCA) chairman Barry Pullin of Rolleston, following comments by Otago/Southland coroner David Crerar on a road accident death last year involving a Southland shearer.

“The coroner has challenged shearing contractors to have an aspect of host responsibility and supervision in the consumption of alcohol at parties, outside of work hours. Our Association and its members have, over the past five years, taken many steps to combat issues of alcohol, drug abuse and driving accidents during work time,” Barry Pullin says.

“Professionally run businesses do this every day and not only in the shearing industry. Now shearing contractors are challenged to be responsible outside of work time as well. Drink driving and alcohol abuse is a community problem. The sad fact is that in rural communities accidents late at night, well after work time has finished, often have the contributing factor of alcohol,” Mr Pullin noted.

Trees on farms workshop:

 Dairy farmers are increasingly recognising the benefits of tree planting as part of an integrated land management strategy that not only helps address problem spots on-farm but adds value and cash flow in the process.

The latest Trees on Farms workshop has been specifically designed for Waikato dairy farmers, looking at trees as an on-farm investment opportunity on less productive areas. The workshop will particularly look at how sideling and riparian planting can provide cost effective, sustainable long term land use solutions.

As part of the workshop an afternoon field trip will visit the Putaruru dairy farm of Gray and Marilyn Baldwin. The Baldwins, with their sharemilkers Hamish and Jane Putt, were the 2009 Ballance Farm Environment Awards Supreme Winners for Waikato. They farm around 410 dairy cows, with around 40 ha in plantation forest – not only radiata pine, but also including a diversity of species such as redwoods, cypresses, kauri (for timber production), larches and taxodiums, as well as significant plantings of tree crops (mainly chestnuts, hazelnuts, and feijoas). The Baldwins have a visionary yet very pragmatic approach to tree planting, based around the economic, land management, animal welfare and environmental benefits that trees provide. They are looking to these timber species for future earnings, optimal land use and weed control. . .

Baker no-tillage launched in Europe:

The crusade to encourage more farmers to adopt no-tillage techniques on their properties is being taken to Europe.

Baker No-Tillage, a Manawatu based developer and manufacturer of a revolutionary new drill, is holding an international conference and field days in Germany and France next week (June 18 to 25) to encourage more European farmers to adopt no-tillage methods.

Nearly 50 owners of Baker No-Tillage drills from nine different countries are attending including 19 from New Zealand. . .

NZ grape harvest down after cool spring and summer:

The 2012 New Zealand grape harvest is down 18 percent on last year due to a cool spring and summer.

About 269,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in the 2012 season, down from the record 2011 harvest of 328,000 tonnes, New Zealand Wine Growers said after completing its vintage survey.

The 2012 harvest was expected to be smaller than last year, said Philip Gregan, chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The 2012 vintage is very similar in size to 2010, but given sales growth in the past two years, the reduced crop will introduce a new tension to the sectors’ supply demand balance,” Mr Gregan said. .

How many is enough?


If I remember correctly, the kitchen in the house I grew up in had only four three-pin power points.

There was one for the fridge, another for the radio and two on the oven where the kettle, toaster, vitamiser (a predecessor of the food processor) and mixer were plugged in as needed.

This had to be done with care because a design fault left cords at risk of connecting with the elements.

My kitchen has at least 10 power points – for the fridge, microwave, two phones, radio, toaster, bread maker, food processor, mixer and dish washer.

There are occasions all are in use and there’s a need for more.

Plans for kitchen renovations are still on the drawing board and given the occasional shortage I’m wondering how many power points is enough and where to put them.

Half way down the wall behind the fridge isn’t a good place if you need to defrost the freezer without pulling the whole appliance right out.

I’m also wondering when the people who make power sockets will catch up with the fact that plugs for some appliances are too big to fit side by side in double sockets. They need to come up with a new design with more space between the holes.

Riverstone Cuisine finalist again


North  Otago’s Riverstone Kitchen is a finalist in Cuisine’s restaurant of the year again.

It won the supreme award two years ago and was the regional winner last year.

The food and service are equal to any I’ve had anywhere in the world and it’s continuing success in these awards show it’s not justparochial people like me who thinks so.

It specialises in simple, fresh food, much of which is grown on the property or near by.

If you can’t get there in person, you could get a taste of what they serve via chef Bevan Smith’s recipe books.

The 50 finalists are:

Á Deco

Antoine’s RestauranT, Café HanoI, Cibo, Clooney, Cocoro, Coco’s Cantina, Depot! District Dining, Ebisu, Kitchen at Hotel De Brett, Merediths, MooChowChow, O’Connell Street Bistro, Ponsonby Road Bistro, Roxy, Sidart, Soul Bar and Bistro, The Engine Room, The French Café, The Grill, The Grove, TriBeCa, Vinnie

Palate, Chim-Choo-Ree, Victoria Street Bistro

Hawkes Bay
Black Barn Bistro, Elephant Hill Estate & Winery, Terroir at Craggy Range

Ambeli, Arbitrageur, Capitol, Hippopotamus, Logan Brown, Martin Bosley’s! Matterhorn, Ortega Fish Shack & Bar, The Larder, The White House

Marlborough/ Nelson

Canterbury/ Christchurch
Edesia, Pegasus Bay Winery Restaurant,  Pestacore

South Canterbury/ Oamaru *
Riverstone Kitchen

Central Otago
Amisfield Bistro, Wai, Wakatipu Grill

Pier 24, Two Chefs Bistro

Cuisine profiles them all here.
* I think South Canterbury/Oamaru is a category not a geographical mistake.

Make trade not war


Make love, not war was a catch-cry of the 1960s.

Make trade, not war might not sound as good but trade is a very effective deterrent to hostilities:

If we were living in earlier times, our country would be a prime target for invasion and takeover.

Our combination of natural wealth and small population would put us square in the sights of a bigger, aggressive nation looking to expand. We would be Gaul to Caesar’s Rome, England to Canute’s Denmark.

Our luck in settling a fertile country watered by plentiful rain is envied by many.

As the foodbowl of the South Pacific, we are eyed by countries worried about their ability to feed a population growing in numbers and in quality of life. They show no inclination to invade, thank goodness.

The paranoid among us would point to a takeover by stealth through the purchase of farmland but I don’t see that.

We are beneficiaries of the generations who fought to ensure a country like ours could thrive unmolested. And, befitting such enlightened times, we share our wealth with those who would formerly have enslaved us. It’s called trade.

We don’t have a lot of food to trade but it is of the highest quality. Rightly, we have recognised that we can make the most of our natural resources by feeding the more discerning among the world’s consumers. . .

Trade beats hostility and if we can’t provide quantity we can provide quality.

And for anyone who extols the virtues of fair trade, the only true fair trade is free trade?

Hat Tip: Anti Dismal who added a quote from Otto T. Mallory:

If soldiers are not to cross international boundaries, goods must do so. Unless shackles can be dropped from trade, bombs will be dropped from the sky.

June 18 in history


618  Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China.

1178  Five Canterbury monks saw what was possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the moon’s distance from the earth (on the order of metres) are a result of this collision.

1264 The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.

1429  French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay.

1757  Battle of Kolín between Prussian Forces under Frederick the Great of Prussia and an Austrian Army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Year’s War.

1767  Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.

1778  American Revolutionary War: British troops abandoned Philadelphia.

1812  War of 1812: The U.S. Congress declared war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1815  Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo leads to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and last time.

1830  French invasion of Algeria

1858  Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own.  which prompted Darwin to publish his theory.

1859  First ascent of Aletschhorn, second summit of the Bernese Alps.

1873  Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.

1886 George Mallory, English mountaineer, was born  (d. 1924).

1887  The Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia was signed.

1895  Minnie Dean’s trial for murdering a baby placed in her care began at the Invercargill Supreme Court.

Minnie Dean goes on trial

1900  Empress Dowager Longyu of China ordered all foreigners killed.

1904 Manuel Rosenthal, French conductor and composer, was born  (d. 2003).

1908 Japanese immigration to Brazil began when 781 people arrive in Santos aboard the Kasato-Maru ship

1908  The University of the Philippines was established.

1913  Sylvia Field Porter, American economist and journalist, was born  (d. 1991)

1915  Red Adair, American firefighter, was born (d. 2004) .

1920 Ian Carmichael, English actor, was born (d. 2010).

1923  Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets.

1927 Paul Eddington, English actor, was born  (d. 1995).

1928  Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she was a passenger,Wilmer Stutz was the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic).

1930  Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute were held.

1936 Denny Hulme, New Zealand race car driver, was born  (d. 1992).


1936 Ronald Venetiaan, President of Suriname, was born.

1940  Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle.

1940   “Finest Hour” speech by Winston Churchill.

1942 Paul McCartney, British singer, songwriter and musician (The Beatles, Wings), was born.

1945  William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) was charged with treason.

1946  Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a Socialist called for a Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa.

1953  The Republic of Egypt was declared and the monarchy abolished.

1953  A United States Air Force C-124 crashed and burned near Tokyo killing 129.

1954 Pierre Mendès-France became Prime Minister of France.

1959 Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long was committed to a state mental hospital; he responded by having the hospital’s director fired and replaced with a crony who proceeded to proclaim him perfectly sane.

1965  Vietnam War: The United States used B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam.

1972 Staines air disaster – 118 were killed when a plane crashes 2 minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport.

1979 SALT II was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.

1981 The AIDS epidemic was formally recognised by medical professionals in San Francisco, California.

1983 Space Shuttle program: STS-7, Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

1984 A major clash between about 5,000 police and a similar number of miners at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the 1984-1985 UK miners’ strike.

1994 The Troubles: the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) opened fire inside a pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland, killing six civilians and wounding five.

1996 Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, was indicted on ten criminal counts.

2001 Protests in Manipur over the extension of the ceasefire between Naga insurgents and the government of India.

2006  The first Kazakh space satellite, KazSat wa launched.

Sourced from NZ Histroy Online & Wikipedia

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