Word of the day

August 3, 2012

Paronomasia –  word play exploiting multiple meanings; pun.

Rural round-up

August 3, 2012
Federated Farmers’ top man enjoys exciting ride– Sally Rae:

He was the banker who became a farmer who became the president of rural lobby organisation Federated Farmers.

Now, a year down the track, Bruce Wills says he is very encouraged with the progress made since he was elected in July last year.

Mr Wills spent more than 20 years in the banking industry before the opportunity arose for him to return to the family farm, Trelinnoe, on which he grew up, to farm in partnership with his brother, Scott, eight years ago. . .

Professor excited about new role – Sally Rae:

Professor Claire Massey’s new role as director of agrifood business at Massey University brings together her interest in entrepreneurship and her agricultural background.

And it is a job that she could not be happier about. “I’m so excited about it, I really, really am,” she told the Otago Daily Times recently.

Brought up on a dairy farm at Karaka, near Auckland, she is also the great-granddaughter of former prime minister William Ferguson Massey, and the university’s namesake. . .

Farm database grows:

Two farm industry groups are joining the national farm database FarmsOnLine.

From September Ovis Management Ltd (OML) and Johne’s Management Ltd (JML) will share their farmer contact details with the database.

“This is the information that we already use in our work to manage and control sheep measles and Johne’s Disease in sheep and deer,” says OML/JML joint chairman Geoff Neilson, Dunedin. . .

North Island overtakes South Island as sheep central:

Federated Farmers is welcoming Beef+Lamb NZ’s Economic Service confirming declines in the national sheep flock and beef herd may now be at an end. It also confirms the North Island has become the dominant island for both sheep and beef.

“It shows what a couple of good back to back seasons can do for stock numbers and morale,” observed Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson. . .

University Honours farmer:

Lincoln University has recognised the efforts of South Canterbury dairy farmer Alvin Reid, who’s given many years service to the university.

Mr Reid farms at Winchester, just north of Temuka, and has been awarded the Lincoln University Medal.

He has interests in five dairy and dry stock properties covering 1300 hectares.

Friday’s answers

August 3, 2012

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “Champions aren’t made in the gym? Champions are made from something deep inside them, a desire, a dream, a vision.”?

2. Who won New Zealand’s first Olympic medal (then competing for Australasia), who won NZ’s first medal competing for NZ, who was the first New Zealander to win gold and who was first to win gold for NZ?

3. It’s gagner in French, vincere in Italian, ganar in Spanish and toa in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who was New Zealand’s first female gold medalist and who was our first female double gold medalist?

5. Who was our  first triple gold medalist, first quintuple  gold medalists and first female triple gold medalist?

Points for answers:

Alwyn got 3 2/3, it was Fergusson.

Andrei got 2 1/2 with a nod for 1908 and a bonus for extra information.

Gravedodger got 1 and enough fractions to make another point.

Grant got 2 1/2.

Adam got 1.

I think that means the electronic coffee sponge goes to Alwyn.

Tough questions and also difficult to mark with all these fractions.

I got the answers from Wikipedia, I’m open to challenges if any of you have another source with different answers.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Westland’s forecast payout down

August 3, 2012

Further to the previous post, Westland Milk has announced a decrease in its forecast payout:

Westland Milk Products today announced its 2012-13 season forecast to supplier-shareholders has been revised down from a budgeted $5.70 – $6.10 per kilogram of milk solids (kgMS) to $5 – $5.40 per kgMS.

Chief Executive Rod Quin says the reduction is due to international prices for dairy products being 10 to 15 per cent below expected levels.

“This is compounded by the ongoing high rate of the New Zealand dollar, at around 80cents against the US dollar, which results in fewer New Zealand dollars available for pay-out.”

With farmer shareholders on the West Coast and in Canterbury, Westland Milk Products is the biggest dairy cooperative in New Zealand next to Fonterra, processing some 600 million litres of milk a year and with an annual turnover of $525 million. Mr Quin says the reduced payout will have an impact on rural communities, with farmers bearing the brunt but, overall, dairying is still the right industry to be in and the co-operative is in good shape.

“This situation highlights the importance of our strategy of moving significant milk volumes away from the commodity markets into specialist nutritional products, which will give us better returns and greater stability. The nutritional products market is growing and we are taking advantage of that to the ultimate benefit of shareholders.”

Fonterra’s current forecast is $5.95 – $6.05 a kilo of milksolids with a milk price of $5.50 and the balance in expected dividend.

Fonterra payout to fall?

August 3, 2012

ANZ economist Con Williams thinks the strong New Zealand dollar will increase the pressure for Fonterra to cut the forecast milk payout.

The board won’t make a decision until its September meeting but prudent farmers will continue to keep costs down just in case.

One factor which might help the price of milk is the drought in the USA.

Peter Griffin at Sciblogs has an infographic of the impact of the drought which shows a likely increase in dairy prices of 3.5 – 4.5%.

Partner schools could help those other schools can’t

August 3, 2012


The government’s announcement on the framework for Partnership Schools has found favour with Business NZ  which says choice and flexibility are good for learners.

The inclusion of another option for quality schooling is welcome, says BusinessNZ.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says all learners deserve a bright future and this requires choices and flexibility for learners and their families.

“One of the strengths of the New Zealand schooling system is the variety of different types of schools.

“Tai Wānanga, state, private and integrated schools, tertiary-high schools, service academies, and trade academies all bring different strengths and values to their learners and communities,” Mr O’Reilly said.

“Partnership schools will be a welcome addition to this suite of education options.

“The partnership school model will provide options for flexibility and innovation that some other learning options currently available are not able to provide.

“The focus has to be on meeting the needs of the learners and ensuring that their potential is realised“Business is particularly interested in improving outcomes for all students by ensuring that they are well equipped for success in work and further learning. Our hope is that increased choice and flexibility for learners will result in improved achievement for many more of our young people.”

New Zealand’s education system does very well for most pupils but it’s failing with the long tail of under-achievers who leave school with no qualifications and without the skills needed to get and hold down a job.

An alternative system provides an opportunity to help those the current system can’t.


Wai now?

August 3, 2012

Finance Minister Bill English and State Services Minister Tony Ryall have asked the Waitangi Tribunal for more information on its findings, recommendations and supporting reasoning in its inquiry into national fresh water and geothermal resources.

“The Government wants to consider the Tribunal’s recommendations and the reasons behind them as part of its decision on the Mighty River Power share offer this year,” they say.

“As we have said, we want to act in good faith and carefully consider the Tribunal’s recommendations.

“However, we appreciate the Tribunal’s interim direction on 30 July did not make substantive findings on any of the issues it identified. So we have today asked the Tribunal to provide its recommendations and reasoning by 24 August.

“To proceed with a Mighty River share offer in 2012, ministers would need to make decisions by the first week of September.

“We would do this on the basis of all the information available to us at that time, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s memorandum of 30 July.

“However, ministers would welcome the opportunity to consider the Tribunal’s detailed findings, its recommendations and its reasoning, which we do not have at this stage.”

Not all Maori are happy about the Maori Council’s decision to take the issue of water ownership to the Tribunal.

Trans Tasman writes:

Whatever motives the Maori Council had in taking the claim to the tribunal, the fact is the Maori Council in its own cognisance does not have any “rights” either to a global water resource, or a particular lake or river. Iwi or hapu may establish an “interest,” and there has been some push-back from iwi who believe the Maori Council claim could put their individual claims at risk.

Given this it’s easy to wonder if the Council is at least as much about delaying the asset sales as it is about claims to the water.

Otherwise why (or wai) now?

Contact Energy is a private company which uses the Clutha River and has been doing so for decades.

There are private and public water schemes the length and breadth of the country which take water for personal and commercial use, many of which have been doing so for more than 100 years.

None of these have been regarded as endangering any interest Maori might have in the rivers.

Why would the partial float of Mighty River Power be any different?

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