Word of the day


Appurtenant–   appertaining, belonging, pertaining or pertinent; something added to another, more important thing; relating to something that is added but is not essential; an appendage a right, privilege, or improvement belonging to and passing with a principal property.

Racing now . . .


If there’s a gold medal for funny Olympic commentaries this Irish sailing one ought to be a contender.



7/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.

Ministers can use judgement


Quote of the day:

 . . .   the court’s robust decision restores much-needed clarity to New Zealand’s foreign investment regime.

The upshot of the Fay-led challenges is that the bar has been raised for foreign buyers of farms or businesses worth more than $100 million. But Cabinet ministers are entitled to rely on their judgment when it comes to assessing the additional value to New Zealand that a foreign bidder brings when acquiring assets.

Critically, the court has shot a massive hole in the notion that a foreign buyer must have direct industry experience if they are to buy local farms or $100 million-plus Kiwi businesses. Fran O’Sullivan

Some legislation allows Ministers no latitude at all, the law is the law in those cases and Ministers have no discretion over its application. But other legislation, among which is that governing overseas investment, allows them to exercise their judgement.

In this case, the sale of the former Crafar Farms to Shanghai Pengxin, they decided that the company could add value to New Zealand, and imposed very strict conditions on the purchase to ensure it would.

The opposition to the sale is almost all based on emotion.

Now the Court has ruled in the purchaser’s favour the company and Landcorp will be able to get on with running the farms and the sooner they do that the sooner they’ll prove the doubters wrong.

Aussie milk wars to spawn new co-op


Supermarket wars in Australia have led to sharp falls in the price of milk and  farmers have been paying for it in reduced returns.

However, the supermarkets might have gone too far. Farmers are planning to establish a rebel trading company to compete with the dominant processor, Lion, and supermarkets:

Documents obtained by The Australian show the Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative — representing 780 dairy farms in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia producing a billion litres of milk a year — has proposed to its members they consider quitting supplying Lion.

Instead, DFMC is launching a rival co-operative to compete with its own Lion-bonded supply arm.

Instead of being contracted to sell milk only to Lion processing plants — and having to accept the prices Lion offers — the new breakaway group will be free to trade milk across Australia to the highest bidder.

The move follows Lion’s shock announcement last week that it is cutting prices to dairy farmers for off-contract milk supplied to its popular Pura, Dairy Farmers and Big M milk brands to just 12c and 13c a litre in Queensland and northern NSW respectively, and 15c in other parts of NSW, Victoria and South Australia. . .

Farmers in New Zealand are paid for kilos of milk solids and the current forecast payout for this season is  $5.95 – $6.05.

The forecast payout of  $7.50 k/ms in May last year was equivalent to about 66 cents a litre. Someone whose maths is better than mine is welcome to convert this season’s payout to cents a litre, but you don’t have to do it exactly to understand it is still more than 12 to 15 cents even when converted to Australian currency.

That price is simply unsustainable for farmers as one who left a letter to Coles supermarket explained:

A LETTER to Coles posted on its Facebook page by a NSW dairy farmer went viral at the weekend, attracting more than 73,448 “likes” and 4500 comments before it was blocked by the supermarket giant.

But the action by Coles backfired badly, with dozens of online supporters of 31-year-old teacher and farmer Jane Burney re-posting the letter online.

In her letter, Ms Burney, who milks 400 cows at Oxley Island near Taree with her husband says the discounting $1/L milk price war waged by Coles and Woolworths is ” killing the lifeblood of our dairy industry”.

“The ramifications of it are finally rearing their ugly head, 13c per litre of milk is not sustainable; the only winner is the supermarket,” she wrote. . .

Your latest ad campaign sprouting that you support Aussie growers is insulting and misleading; eventually all the Aussie growers, all dairy farmers who work 7 days a week, 14 hours a day, who have been dairy farming their whole life, will have to stop farming as it is no longer economically viable to continue.” . . .

Consumers here complain that too little competition between supermarkets is keeping the price of milk too high.

In Australia the competition has been too fierce for farmers who’ve been caught in the crossfire.

There might be enough of them to make the new co-operative a success but it will have to be strong to stand up to the existing players.

August 12 in history


30 BC Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, committed suicide allegedly by means of an asp bite.

1099  First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon – Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeated Fatimid forces under Al-Afdal Shahanshah.

1121   Battle of Didgori: the Georgian army under King David the Builder won a decisive victory over the famous Seljuk commander Ilghazi.

1164  Battle of Harim: Nur ad-Din Zangi defeated the Crusader armies of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch.

1281  The fleet of Qubilai Khan was destroyed by a typhoon while approaching Japan.

1323   Treaty of Nöteborg between Sweden and Novgorod (Russia) regulated the border for the first time.

1332   Wars of Scottish Independence: Battle of Dupplin Moor – Scots under Domhnall II, Earl of Mar were routed by Edward Balliol.

1480   Battle of Otranto – Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.

1499  First engagement of the Battle of Zonchio between Venetian and Ottoman fleets.

1676 Praying Indian John Alderman shot and killed Metacomet the Wampanoag war chief, ending King Philip’s War.

1687   Charles of Lorraine defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Mohács.

1806  Santiago de Liniers re-took the city of Buenos Aires after the first British invasion.

1851  Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine.

1859 Katharine Lee Bates, American poet, was born (d. 1929).

1877   Asaph Hall discovered Deimos.

1881  Cecil B. DeMille, American film director, was born (d. 1959).

1883   The last quagga died at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.

1886  Sir Keith Murdoch, Australian journalist and newspaper owner, was born (d. 1952).

1889 Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane), was born (d. 1981).

1895 Minnie Dean became the first (and only) woman to be hanged by law in New Zealand.

Minnie Dean

1898  Armistice ended the Spanish-American War.

1898  The Hawaiian flag was lowered from Iolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the American flag to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawai`i to the United States.

1911 Cantinflas, Mexican actor, was born (d. 1993).

1914 World War I– Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1918  – Guy Gibson, British aviator, awarded Victoria Cross, was born (d. 1944).

1925  Norris McWhirter, Scottish co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, was born (d. 2004).

1925   Ross McWhirter, Scottish co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, was born  (d. 1975).

1932 Queen Sirikit, Queen of Thailand, was born.

1943  Alleged date of the first Philadelphia Experiment test on United States Navy ship USS Eldridge.

1944  Waffen SS troops massacred 560 people in Sant’Anna di Stazzema.

1944  Alençon was liberated by General Leclerc, the first city in France to be liberated from the Nazis by French forces.

1949  – Mark Knopfler, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Dire Straits), was born.

1952  The Night of the Murdered Poets – thirteen most prominent Jewish intellectuals were murdered in Moscow.

1953  The Soviet atomic bomb project continued with the detonation of Joe 4, the first Soviet thermonuclear weapon.

1953   The islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia in Greece were severely damaged by an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the richter.

1960  Echo I, the first communications satellite, launched.

1961  Roy Hay, British guitarist and keyboardist (Culture Club), was born.

1961 Mark Priest, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1964  South Africa was banned from the Olympic Games due to the country’s racist policies.

1964 – Charlie Wilson, one of the Great Train Robbers escaped from Winson Green Prison.

1969 Violence erupted after the Apprentice Boys of Derry march resulting in a three-day communal riot – the Battle of the Bogside.

1973 Richard Reid, British Islamist terrorist (the “Shoe Bomber”), was born.

1975 John Walker broke the world mile record, becoming became history’s first sub-3:50 miler.

1976  Between 1,000-3,500 Palestinians killed in the Tel al-Zaatar massacre, one of the bloodiest events of the Lebanese Civil War.

1977  The first free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

1977 Start of Sri Lankan riots of 1977, targeting the minority Sri Lankan Tamil people – over 300 Tamils were killed.

1978   Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China was signed.

1980   Signature of the Montevideo Treaty establishing the Latin American Integration Association.

1981  The IBM Personal Computer was released.

1982   Mexico announced it was unable to pay its enormous external debt, marking the beginning of a debt crisis that spread to all of Latin America and the Third World.

1985   Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed into Osutaka ridge in Japan, killing 520, to become the worst single-plane air disaster.

1992  Canada, Mexico, and the United States announced completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

2000  The Oscar class submarine K-141 Kursk of the Russian Navy exploded and sank in the Barents Sea during a military exercise.

2005  Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, was fatally shot by an LTTE sniper at his home.

2007  Bulk carrier M/V New Flame collided with oil tanker Torm Gertrud at the southernmost tip of Gibraltar, ending up partially submerged.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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