Word of the day

June 24, 2012

Ineluctable – impossible to avoid, or evade; inescapable, inevitable.


Rural round-up

June 24, 2012

Southland dairy farmers face rates hike:

Southland Regional Council is proposing to increase the rates burden on dairy farmers in its draft long-term plan.

But there will be some easing of that next year, if the plan’s confirmed.

The council considered submissions on the draft plan, last week, with many commenting on the proposal to increase the Dairy Differential Rate to $767,000, almost double the current dairy rate of about $390,000.

The council says that’s to cover the cost of increased environmental monitoring and resource planning required in the next 18 to 24 months because of the growth in dairying in Southland.

Dairy farmers complained that good farmers would be unfairly hit with the cost of enforcing compliance on a few poor performers. . .

Dairy puzzle – Offsetting Behaviour:

Dairy products are cheaper in New Zealand than in Canada, where the dairy cartel keeps prices high.

But the Dairy Farmers of Canada VP Ron Versteeg points me to an interesting puzzle: FAO stats showing NZ consumption of some dairy products is lower than that in Canada.

Here’s an FAO table showing NZ and Canadian consumption. Or, at least, I’d expect that this has to be per capita consumption rather than production given that total NZ production is higher than total Canadian given relative herd sizes. . .

 
Synlait Milk, the processor that turned to a Chinese investor after failing to attract local equity capital, narrowed its annual loss last year, even though surging raw milk prices eroded its gross margin.
 
The Canterbury-based company made a net loss of $3.1 million in the 12 months ended July 31 last year, smaller than the loss of $11.7 million a year earlier, according to financial statements lodged with the Companies Office.
 
The milk processor lifted revenue 28% to $298.9 million, though its gross profit shrank 11% to $21.1 million in a year when international milk prices reached record highs. . .

Federated Farmers’ Anders Crofoot to chair AHB and NAIT Stakeholder Council:

Federated Farmers National Board member, Anders Crofoot, has been appointed to chair the Stakeholder Council that will oversee the merger process between the Animal Health Board (AHB) and the National Animal Identification & Tracing (NAIT) scheme.

“I am deeply humbled to chair what will be a significant development in New Zealand agriculture,” says Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers Board spokesperson on national identification & tracing.

“The Stakeholder Council is made up of representatives from industry as well as local and central government. The council includes Beef + Lamb NZ, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, DairyNZ, Deer Industry New Zealand, Meat Industry Association, New Zealand Deer Farmers Association, NZ Stock & Station Agents’ Association, Local Government New Zealand, Ministry for Primary Industries and of course, Federated Farmers. . .

Rustlers cost farmers thousands:

Farmers say they are losing thousands of dollars of stock a year at the hands of rustlers, and not enough is being done to stop them.

Warning: Video contains footage some viewers may find disturbing.

They want police to have a greater rural presence, but police say before that can happen farmers need to start reporting the crimes.

“Eleven of them were taken, and the twelfth one had its legs crossed and tied with silver duct tape, and fell on the ground – and that’s how we found that we had had them stolen,” says farm owner Beverly Duffy, describing the latest spate of killings her farm has been hit by. Three months ago the same farm lost a dozen sheep – more than $2,000 overnight. . . . 

New Zealand grass-fed beef on the menu for chefs in Japan and Korea:

Award winning Christchurch chef Darren Wright has been in Korea and Japan promoting New Zealand grass-fed beef to a lineup of influential chefs and media.

 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Market Manager Japan/Korea, John Hundleby says Chef Wright cooked a range of beef dishes at a number of events. His offerings included beef ravioli made from short-ribs, beef tortellini and tenderloin steaks.

 “Since Korean and Japanese people are far more familiar with the cooking qualities of grain-fed beef which is more common in the two markets, a highlight at these events is always the demonstration of how to cook a good grass-fed beef steak.” . . .


8/10

June 24, 2012

8/10 in the Herald’s Question Time.


Giveway rule change working

June 24, 2012

Have you noticed chaos and confusion as a result of the change to the give way rule for vehicles turning left and right or at T-intersections?

In the couple of months since the rule change came in I’ve had to pause just once when I thought someone turning right was going to cross my bows when I was turning left and have had no problems at T intersections.

AA Insurance hasn’t noticed a spike in claims since the change.

“The low volume of claims suggests that New Zealanders understood the changes and drove more cautiously at intersections by reducing their speed and taking their time, preempting any rise in incidents,”said Suzanne Wolton, Head of Corporate Affairs, AA Insurance. “The handful of claims we received related, for the most part, to driver confusion about how to apply the catchphrase, ‘Top of the T goes before me’.”

In these cases AA Insurance customers who were turning from the top of the “T” were hit on the front driver’s side by third parties turning right from the bottom of the intersection.

The low volume of claims suggests that the new way, which is after all a return to the old way and the way traffic in most if not all other countries has to behave, is the right way.


Costs and benefits of development

June 24, 2012

Hans van der Wel looks at the pros and cons of  Meridian Energy’s plans for hydro development on the Mokihinui river then asks some very good questions in the wake of the company’s decision to withdraw from the plans.

. . . The intriguing question was if the court would accept whether this would have been enough to make up for some significant environmental loss.

Would it have found that this met the twin aims of the Resource Management Act, of enabling people to provide for their wellbeing through development, and still making sure that key environmental values are maintained?

How would it have weighed the various benefits against the undeniable drawbacks?

How important is providing for locally generated renewable energy to environmental outcomes?

Is it important enough to require some sacrifices to be made to achieve it?

How much can you compensate for the loss of one set of special values by improving others?

Must conservation always trump economic development, or can the two assist each other? . . .

These questions could and should be asked of all development.

We have only one world and looking after it is important but that should not be a moratorium on development.

Any development has consequences, the question is whether when everything is taken into account – economic, environmental and social considerations – the benefits outweigh the costs.


June 24 in history

June 24, 2012

972 Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces.

1128  Battle of São Mamede, near Guimarães:Portuguese forces led by Alfonso I defeated his mother D. Teresa and D. Fernão Peres de Trava.

1314  First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn concluded with a decisive victory of the Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce, though England did not recognise Scottish independence until 1328 with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton.

1340  Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Sluys: The French fleet was almost destroyed by the English Fleet commanded in person by Edward III of England.

1374  A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and began to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion.

1441  King Henry VI founded Eton College.

1497  John Cabot landed in North America at Newfoundland; the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.

1497  Cornish rebels Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank were executed at Tyburn, London.

1509  Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England.

1535  The Anabaptist state of Münster was conquered and disbanded.

1542  St. John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet, was born (d. 1591).

1571  Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines.

1597  The first Dutch voyage to the East Indies reached Bantam (on Java).

1604  Samuel de Champlain discovered the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present day city of Saint John, New Brunswick.

1662  The Dutch attemptted but failed to capture Macau.

1664  The colony of New Jersey was founded.

1692 Kingston, Jamaica was founded.

1717  The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), was founded in London.

1748  John Wesley and his brother Charles Wesley opened the Kingswood School in Bristol.

1793 The first republican constitution in France was adopted.

1794 Bowdoin College was founded.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River beginning his invasion of Russia.

1813 Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman and reformer, was born  (d. 1887).

1813  Battle of Beaver Dams : A British and Indian combined force defeat the U.S Army.

1821  The Battle of Carabobo took place – the decisive battle in the war of independence of Venezuela from Spain.

1859  Battle of Solferino: (Battle of the Three Sovereigns). Sardinia and France defeat Austria in Solferino, northern Italy.

1866  Battle of Custoza: an Austrian army defeats the Italian army during the Austro-Prussian War.

1880  First performance of O Canada, the song that became the national anthem of Canada, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français.

1893 Roy O. Disney, a founder of the Walt Disney Company, was born  (d. 1971).

1894  Marie Francois Sadi Carnot was assassinated by Sante Geronimo Caserio.

1901  First exhibition of Pablo Picasso‘s work opened.

1902 King Edward VII developed  appendicitis, delaying his coronation.

1905 NZ Truth was launched.

New Zealand Truth hits the newstands

1916  Mary Pickford became the first female film star to get a million dollar contract.

1916  World War I: The Battle of the Somme began with a week long artillery bombardment on the German Line.

1918  First airmail service in Canada from Montreal to Toronto.

1922  The American Professional Football Association formally changed its name to the National Football League.

1928  With declining business, the International Railway (New York – Ontario) began using one-person crews on trolley operations in Canada.

1932  A bloodless Revolution instigated by the People’s Party ended the absolute power of King Prajadhipok of Siam (Thailand).

1938  Pieces of a meteor, estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded, land near Chicora, Pennsylvania.

1939  Siam was renamed to Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the third Prime Minister.

1944 Jeff Beck, English musician (The Yardbirds).

1945  The Moscow Victory Parade took place.

1947  Mick Fleetwood, English musician (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1947  Kenneth Arnold made the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.

1947 – Patrick Moraz, Swiss keyboard player (Yes) was born.

1948  Start of the Berlin Blockade. The Soviet Union makes overland travel between the West with West Berlin impossible.

1949 John Illsley, English bassist (Dire Straits) was born.

1949  The first Television Western, Hopalong Cassidy, was aired on NBC starring William Boyd.

1957  In Roth v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment .

1961 Curt Smith, English musician and songwriter (Tears for Fears), was born.

1963  The United Kingdom granted Zanzibar internal self-government.

1975  An Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727 crashed at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. 113 people died.

1981  The Humber Bridge was opened to traffic, connecting Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

1982  British Airways Flight 9, sometimes referred to as “the Jakarta incident”, flew into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, resulting in the failure of all four engines.

1985  STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery completed its mission.

1993  Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter lost the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, and part of his right hand after receiving a mailbomb from the Unabomber.

1994  A United States Air Force B-52 aircraft crashed at Fairchild Air Force Base, killing all four members of its crew.

2002  The Igandu train disaster in Tanzania killed 281, the worst train accident in African history.

2004  In New York state, capital punishment was declared unconstitutional.

2007  The Angora Fire started near South Lake Tahoe, California destroying 200+ structures in its first 48 hours.

2010 – John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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