Word of the day

September 8, 2012

 

Pandiculation – the act of stretching and yawning, especially on waking. 


Fred opts out

September 8, 2012

 

Among the submissions to the Electoral Commission’s recommendations on the review of MMP is this one:

Fred Dagg

Unfortunately you haven’t listened, so I will henceforth opt out of the voting system, since it is unlikely my vote will ever count, and will regard future elections as fraudulent.

Fred

That probably isn’t fair on the Electoral Commission which did wade through the hundreds of submissions and take note of them, but I suspect Fred isn’t alone in his view.


Satorially black and blue

September 8, 2012

The expansion of the Tri Nations to include the Pumas in the Rugby Championship is good for the sport.

I don’t think I was alone in getting a bit bored with New Zealand playing Australia and South Africa so often and the addition of Argentina injects fresh interest.

It will also help the team.

The Pumas started as the under-dogs but their draw with South Africa in Mendoza shows they are competitive.

If they were playing any other team tonight I’d be backing them.

But when they play New Zealand my affection for Argentina takes a step back and black trumps blue in my emotions.

Sartorially though it’s a bit tricky because while like most New Zealanders I have a lot of black in my wardrobe I also have a lot of blue.

That reflects how I feel about tonight’s game.

The blue shows I hope the Pumas play well, the black shows I hope they don’t play too well.

 


10/10

September 8, 2012

10/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.


Key calls for end to ag subsidies

September 8, 2012

Prime Minister John Key used his opening speech to the APEC forum in Vladivostok to call for an end to agricultural subsidies:

. . . TPP would not be a substitute for World Trade Organisation trade talks, he said. The reality was less-developed countries often weren’t included in trade negotiations like TPP, he said.

And while agreements like TPP dealt with barriers to trade and investment, they did not get to the heart of subsidies.

Key said World Trade Organisation negotiations were the key to tackling high domestic subsidies in many economies’ agricultural sectors. He noted the New Zealand experience through the 1980s and 90s following the removal of subsidies there.

“While there is some pain…farmers responded very quickly to the signals – cut costs, increased productivity,” Key said.

“This level of subsidisation is no longer affordable nor sustainable,” he said.

“Now is the time for leaders around the world to be bold,” Key said, calling on them to eradicate subsidies, and start down the road of deficit reduction. . .

The mid to late 80s were very tough years for farming here. But I don’t know a single farmer who would go back to subsidies and farmers we met in England and Europe in June were looking forward to the end of subsidies there too.

They said they’d rather be answerable to markets than at the whim of politicians and bureaucrats.

Agricultural subsidies distort supply and demand, add to costs for taxpayers and consumers and promote inefficiency.

Getting rid of subsidies will open up trading opportunities to the benefit of producers and consumers.


Com Com approve’s Fonterra Studholme plant purchase

September 8, 2012

The Commerce Commission has approved Fonterra’s purchase of the Studholme milk processing plant formerly owned by New Zealand Dairies.

Comparing the acquisition by Fonterra to the scenario where another bidder would acquire NZDL’s assets, the Commission is satisfied that the acquisition would not be likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition. The Commission also considers that Fonterra’s cooperative ownership structure and the regulatory environment in which it operates, together with its national raw milk pricing strategy, removes Fonterra’s incentive and ability to depress the prices it pays farmers for raw milk in the South Canterbury and North Otago regions,” said Commerce Commission Chair Dr Mark Berry.

Dr Berry added that given that the Studholme factory produces milk products for export rather than domestic consumption, and would likely continue to do so whoever acquires it, the Commission has not had to consider downstream markets in New Zealand for dairy products such as butter and cheese in this instance.

In addition to the clearance decision, the Commission also decided that it was unlikely that the Operational Agreement between the Receivers and Fonterra, which provided for the continued operation of the Studholme plant for the 2012/2013 milking season, resulted in a substantial lessening of competition.

Fonterra has, not surprisingly, welcomed the decision:

The Studholme site becomes the Co-op’s 27th processing factory and the 11th in the South Island accepting about 800,000 litres of milk a day from former NZDL suppliers and Fonterra shareholders.

Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings said the Commerce Commission’s decision provided certainty for NZDL’s suppliers and would be a welcome addition to the Co-op’s processing capacity.

“This investment in the Studholme plant underpins our commitment to the dairy industry in Canterbury, one of the fastest growing dairy regions in New Zealand. We’re pleased we have been able to offer certainty to the former suppliers of NZDL and staff at the factory.

“The Studholme site also complements our new Darfield plant operating for the first time this season.”

“We’ve been operating the Studholme plant for the receivers over the past couple of months to ensure supplying farmers could sell their milk from the start of this season,” he said.

“We started collecting milk from NZDL suppliers at the beginning of August and processed it at other sites and fired up the Studholme plant on August 14. We’re now processing more than 800,000 litres per day of milk into whole milk powder for export.”

This is very good news for the suppliers and workers at the plant who have been in limbo since NZ dairies went into receivership.

It is also good news for wider South Canterbury and North Otago both of which would have suffered economically and socially  had the factory closed.


September 8 in history

September 8, 2012

70  Roman forces under Titus sacked Jerusalem.

1151 King Richard I of England, was born (d. 1199).

1264  The Statute of Kalisz, guaranteeing Jews safety and personal liberties and giving battei din jurisdiction over Jewish matters, was promulgated by Boleslaus the Pious, Duke of Greater Poland.

1331  Stephen Uroš IV Dušan declared himself king of Serbia.

1380  Battle of Kulikovo – Russian forces defeated a mixed army of Tatars and Mongols, stopping their advance.

1449 Battle of Tumu Fortress – Mongolians capture the Chinese emperor.

1504  Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Florence.

1514  Battle of Orsha – in one of the biggest battles of the century, Lithuanians and Poles defeated the Russian army.

1565  The Knights of Malta lifted the Turkish siege of Malta that began on May 18.

1727 A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell in Cambridgeshire killed 78 people.

1755  French and Indian War: Battle of Lake George.

1756  French and Indian War: Kittanning Expedition.

1761 Marriage of King George III to Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

1793 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Hondschoote.

1796 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Bassano – French forces defeated Austrian troops at Bassano del Grappa.

1831 William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen were crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain and Ireland.

1841 Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer, was born (d. 1904).

1863 American Civil War: Second Battle of Sabine Pass – on the Texas-Louisiana border at the mouth of the Sabine River, a small Confederate force thwarted a Union invasion of Texas.

1886 Siegfried Sassoon, English poet, was born (d. 1967).

1888 In London, the body of Jack the Ripper‘s second murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found.

1892  The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited.

1900  Galveston Hurricane killed about 8,000 people.

1914  World War I: Private Thomas Highgate became the first British soldier to be executed for desertion during the war.

1921 Harry Secombe, Welsh entertainer, was born (d. 2001).

1921 – 16-year-old Margaret Gorman won the Atlantic City Pageant’s Golden Mermaid trophy; pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America.

1923  Honda Point Disaster: nine US Navy destroyers ran aground off the California coast, seven people died.

1925 Peter Sellers, English actor, was born (d. 1980).

1930 3M began marketing Scotch transparent tape.

1932 Patsy Cline, American singer, was born (d. 1963).

1934  A fire aboard the passenger liner SS Morro Castle killed 135 people.

1941  World War II: Siege of Leningrad began.

1943  World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announced the Allied armistice with Italy.

1944  World War II: London was hit by a V2 rocket for the first time.

1945 Cold War: United States troops arrived to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier.

1945 Ron Pigpen McKernan, American musician (Grateful Dead), was born (d. 1973).

1947 Benjamin Orr, American bassist and singer (The Cars), was born (d. 2000).

1951 Treaty of San Francisco: 48 nations signed a peace treaty with Japan in formal recognition of the end of the Pacific War.

1954 New Zealand signed the Manila Pact which established the South East Asia Treaty Organisation – SEATO.

NZ signs Manila Pact

1959 The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) was established.

1960  US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center.

1962  Last run of the famous Pines Express over the Somerset and Dorset Railway line (UK) fittingly using the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, 9F locomotive 92220 Evening Star.

1966  The Severn Bridge was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1966  The first Star Trek series premieree on NBC.

1967  The formal end of steam traction in the North East of England by British Railways.

1968 The Beatles performed their last live TV performance on the David Frost show – singing their new hit “Hey Jude“.

1970  Hijacking (and subsequent destruction) of three airliners to Jordan by Palestinians.

1971 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated, featuring the premiere of Leonard Bernstein‘s Mass.

1974 Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

1975 US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appeared in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline “I Am A Homosexual”.

1991  The Republic of Macedonia became independent.

1993 Chinese athlete Wang Junxia set a new women’s 10,000 m world record of 29:31.78, breaking the former record by 42 seconds.

1994  A USAir Boeing 737 crashes in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania.

2004 NASA’s unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-landed when its parachute failed to open.

2005 Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft landed at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base; the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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