We’re in the final

October 19, 2012

Twelve months is a long time in rugby.

A year ago Otago was in the doldrums, tonight the team beat Tasman 41 – 34 to secure a spot in the final.

Is it too much to hope that Southland will beat Counties Manakau tomorrow to provide a Southern showdown and give Otago a home final?

 


1 Young Nat beats Labour Party

October 19, 2012

A Young Nat took part in Live Below the Line – living on just $2.25 a day for five days.

She raised more than $2,000 in sponsorship.

The Labour Party took part and raised $1,986.

One student managed to make more money for charity than Labour.

Can we claim another victory for the principles of self-reliance and capitalism against socialism?

 

 


Word of the day

October 19, 2012

Ferly – a wonder or marvel;  something amazing, strange, unusual, or unexpected; something causing wonder or terror; to wonder or be surprised.


6/10

October 19, 2012

It’s been a while since I tried NZ History Online’s quiz: 6/10.


Labour wants more power to meddle

October 19, 2012

Labour finance spokesman David Cunliffe wants to give politicians the power to meddle in commercial decisions:

“The threat of an overseas takeover of Fisher and Paykel is now very real and the likelihood of excellent skilled jobs going overseas is worryingly high. 

“Fisher and Paykel is a Kiwi innovation icon. It is the sort of company we need more of in New Zealand, not less. But National is just waving it goodbye.

“The implications of its sale to New Zealand are too important leave the takeover approval to officials. Such a major decision must be made by Ministers. That’s Labour’s policy.

If that’s Labour’s policy Heaven help the share market when they get back in government.

Who’d want to risk their money in the share market when they know that politicians could devalue their shares at whim?

 


Friday’s answers

October 19, 2012

Andrei stumped me with his two questions but Wildwan got the answers which are here with more information from Andrei.

Since I’m baking for a birthday anyway, Andrei can have an electronic chocolate cake for educating me and Wildwan can have one for getting the answers.


Water quality concern for all

October 19, 2012

The Ministry of Environment report on water quality shows most of our popular coastal swimming spots are fine for swimming most of the time but there are many freshwater swimming spots which should be avoided.

The immediate response to this was criticism of farmers and “dirty dairying” in particular.

But farmingin genreal and dairying in particular are not the only culprits.

The New Zealand Herald editorial calls for more action from farmers but also points out:

. . . Oil and brake fluid released onto roads is carried by rains into stormwater drains and end up in streams. Too often in heavy rain wastewater systems overflow and add to the contamination. . .

I make no excuses for people who pollute waterways but some of the criticism levelled at farmers is unfair and where farming can be blamed, it’s not necessarily dairying that is causing problems.

The MfE data summary shows the Kakanui River at Clifton Falls as having poor water quality.

This is very near the intake for the rural water scheme which supplies the water we drink but it is upstream of any dairy farms.

Further down the Kakanui from Clifton Falls, below several sheep and dairy farms and some intensive horticulture,  at the estuary the water quality is fair.

We’ve been working with the regional council to ensure we’re doing all we can on our farm to protect waterways. Tests showed high E-coli below a dam and it wasn’t our stock or farming practices which were to blame, it was water fowl.

Some water issues can be laid at the feet of human visitors too  Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers water spokesman notes:

“Being a representative farmers’ organisation, we know our members cannot duck or hide that a number of these sites do fall in rural areas. Federated Farmers is aware of this and is why we are working across industry and with our own members to lift agriculture’s game.

“I know farmers ‘get it’ and this is why it is wrong to blame farming for everything. Doing that masks the reality there are very poor sites around settlements and near camp sites. . . 

Some farmers still need to improve their practices but most recognise the need to protect waterways. Feds chief executive Conor English says:

. . . The focus needs to be on finding solutions, based on sound science and profitable and sustainable farming.

Farmers are custodians of the land and water, harvesting for the benefit of today and future generations. They want to leave it better than they found it.

While some still need to pull their socks up, farmers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars putting in effluent systems, excluding stock from waterways, measuring fertiliser and investing in more efficient irrigation. That investment has allowed export growth, earning money to pay the bills for hospitals, schools and other services. It provides jobs and has improved the environment.

Water-quality measures must include all those whose discharge into rivers . . .

Water quality concerns us all and improving it requires improvements in both rural and urban practices.


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