Word of the day

October 20, 2012

Animadvert – pass criticism or censure on; speak out against; comment unfavorably or critically; a critical or censorious remark.


8/10

October 20, 2012

8/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


Saturday’s smiles

October 20, 2012

I hesitated to post this in case it’s tempting fate for tonight’s game. . .

Richie McCaw goes into the All Black changing room to find all his team mates looking a bit down. “What’s up guys?” he asks.

“Well Richie, to be honest we’re having all sorts of trouble getting motivated for this game against  Australia . We know it’s important but we’ve just beaten Argentina and South Africa in consecutive weeks and, let’s be honest, it’s only the Aussies this week. They’re not at their best and we simply can’t be bothered”.

Richie looks at them and says “Okay guys, I hear what you’re saying. You’ve had a good season and the way I’ve been playing recently, I reckon I can beat these Aussies by myself. Why don’t you fellas go down to the pub and maybe catch the game on TV and leave the work to me.

The rest of the team are delighted with that and agree to leave the game to him.

So Richie goes out to play the Wallabies by himself while the rest of the ABs go off to the pub. After a couple of drinks they begin to wonder how the game is going, so they get the barman to put the telly on.
A huge cheer goes up as the screen reads ” New Zealand 7, (McCaw, converted try) — Australia 0″, 10 minutes into the game.

The TV goes off and the game is temporarily forgotten until someone suddenly remembers, “Heck, It must be full time now, let’s see how Richie got on”.

They get the telly put back on and look in wonder.
There on the screen is the result: Full-time – New Zealand 7, (McCaw, 1 converted try); Australia 7, (Sharpe, 1 try, Cooper Conversion.)
They can’t believe it! It’s a draw. Richie v Australia and he single-handedly managed a draw against the Wallabies!

Delighted, they rush back to Suncorp Stadium to congratulate him. They find him in the dressing room, still in his gear, slumped over with his head in his hands. He refuses to look at them. “I’ve let you down guys,” he mumbles disconsolately. “I’m so sorry, but I’ve really let you down.”
“Don’t be an idiot skipper; you got a draw against Australia , all alone, all by yourself. And they only scored a single try, right at the death, after 79 Minutes!”

“No, no, I have” says Richie. “I’ve let you down. I hope you can forgive me. Twenty minutes from full time, I got sent off!”


Rural round-up

October 20, 2012

Kiwifruit breeder honoured for $3 billion contribution:

The inaugural kiwifruit industry award – the Hayward Medal – was presented last night to a kiwifruit breeder whose work has added around $3 billion to the industry and the New Zealand economy, Russell Lowe from Plant & Food Research.

The new award is named after another great horticulturalist and kiwifruit breeder, Hayward Wright, whose innovation and contribution established the industry. The kiwifruit Industry Advisory Council (IAC) established the Hayward Medal and IAC chairman Bruce Cameron presented Russell with the award at Zespri’s kiwifruit industry conference Momentum, saying his work defined the kiwifruit industry. . .

Commission releases draft report on first statutory review of Fonterra’s milk price manual

The Commerce Commission has today released a draft report on its first statutory review of Fonterra’s milk price manual. The manual determines how Fonterra calculates the farm gate milk price, which is the price paid by Fonterra to dairy farmers for their raw milk.

This is the first of two statutory reviews that the Commission is required to undertake each milk season under the 2012 amendments to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA).

This first statutory review requires the Commission to report on the extent to which Fonterra’s milk price manual is consistent with the purpose of the milk price monitoring regime. The purpose of the regime is to promote the setting of a farm gate milk price that provides incentives for Fonterra to operate efficiently while providing for contestability in the market for the purchase of milk from farmers. . .

Why co-operatives in farming? – Anti-Dismal:

A few days ago Ele Ludemann at the Homepaddock blog noted that Co-ops key to feeding world and in a sense she is right. Co-ops are more common in argiculture than any other sector of the economy. The big question is Why?

To see why start from the idea that there are two basic ways to organise production, via contracts or via ownership. So what are the costs of each? First consider the costs of contracting. In farming one reason for the formulation of co-operatives was monopsony power. Farming is a business with many producers of highly homogeneous commodities. It is one of the most competitive of all industries. In contrast, the middlemen-handlers and processors – who purchase farm products are often highly concentrated and hence have the potential for exercising a degree of monopsony power over the farmers they deal with. Such monopsony power can be accentuated by seasonality or perishability of agricultural products. . .

Moovers and shakers in dairy industry – Linda Clarke:

Rakaia dairy farmers Rebecca and Brent Miller live in a fish bowl.

Their 1070-cow farm borders State Highway 1 just north of the Rakaia overbridge, and every man and his dog can see what they are up to.

Rebecca says the couple jokes about living in the limelight, but they farm with pride, knowing the cows and land they manage are scrutinised regularly by passing dairy farmers and are often photographed by tourists, who are taken by the green grass, black and white cows and snowcapped mountains. . .

Meatworks plans for Chathams – Gerald Piddock:

The viability of a meat processing plant on the Chatham Islands will be decided by its farmers later this month following the completion of a study into the feasibility of the facility.

The study was finished last Friday and will be presented to the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust committee later this week.

From there it will be discussed with the islands’ farmers and other interest groups over the next fortnight, Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust chief executive Brian Harris said. . .

And from Facebook:


Hostility to foreign investment holds NZ back

October 20, 2012

New Zealanders’ hostility to foreign investment could damage the agricultural sector’s chances of becoming a trillion-dollar “food bowl” to Asia.

One of the issues identified in ANZ’s Greener Pastures report was a shortfall in capital.

Farmers will need up to $201b extra between now and 2050 and another $130b to support retiring farmers:

Traditional sources of funding- debt and retained earnings- would not be enough to bridge the gap.

“Inevitably, foreign investment will be an important part of the answer, but the pace of investment cannot get too far ahead of public opinion without undermining its sustainability,” the report said.

One survey quoted found 82 per cent of Kiwis believed foreign ownership of farms and agricultural land was bad.

ANZ commercial and agri managing director Graham Turley said the sector could work harder at educating urban New Zealand.

“We’ve built New Zealand off foreign capital, and we’ve done that reasonably wisely,” he said.

“They just need to increase their awareness of foreign investment being a good thing, that it creates access to market, it brings in technology and allows us to expand the productive base of our economy.”

The ANZ report noted that the Overseas Investment Office’s test for the sale of agricultural assets lacked clarity and transparency, and that the regime was seen as too restrictive by some.

Turley said the Crafar farms OIO saga was a “fringe” distraction from the real debate, which should be about how to attract and deploy foreign capital to the country’s advantage. . .

The xenophobic attitude to foreign investment isn’t helped by the media. Take this headline as an example: More kiwi farms could fall into foreign hands.

The story is about seven farms in a receivership sale which are being advertised internationally.

That’s sensible business practice and could mean they might be bought by foreigners but falling into foreign hands is an emotive and unnecessarily negative way to describe it.

The media ought not to feed xenophobia, nor should politicians. But we’ve had a couple of examples of that from the opposition in the past week.

They were quick to seize on criticism of Huawei, the Chinese company which has a telecommunications contract here when it was accused of spying. There’s been no response to the report which exonerates it.

Labour, the Green Party, NZ First and Mana keep calling for more jobs but they are feeding hostility to foreign investment which will be necessary for economic growth needed to provide those jobs.

The full Greener Pastures report is here.


Ag exports could double by 2050

October 20, 2012

New Zealand has the potential to capture $1.3 trillion more in agricultural exports between now and 2050 if targeted actions are taken, according to a new report released by ANZ.

‘Greener pastures: The Global Soft Commodity Opportunity for Australia and New Zealand’ quantifies the size of the opportunity open to New Zealand and Australia agriculture as a result of the shift in global economic growth to Asia.

Opposition MPs intent on protecting jobs in industries producing goods people no longer want, or which can be produced more cheaply elsewhere should take note.

Key findings in the report are:

• Rising incomes and changing diets in developing countries means the world will demand at least 60 per cent more agricultural output by 2050, compared with 2005–2007.
• New Zealand could stand to gain an additional NZ$550 billion. This could increase to NZ$1.3 trillion with favourable conditions and targeted actions.
• NZ$340 billion in additional capital is needed to drive production growth and support farm turnover in New Zealand.
• Intense competition from emerging players with countries like Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia becoming major threats.
• The agricultural industry in New Zealand is heavily reliant on its dominant dairy industry.

Until relatively recently New Zealand has looked to traditional markets in Britain, Europe and North America.
But growing wealth in developing nations which corresponds with a growing demand for protein provides many opportunities for us closer to home in Asia,

Graham Turley, ANZ Managing Director Commercial & Agri said the ANZ Insight report revealed the extent of the opportunity for New Zealand producers and exporters as rising incomes and population growth drive demand for soft commodities.

“With abundant land, water and skills, and geographical proximity to the growth markets of Asia, New Zealand’s agricultural sector is ideally positioned to meet this growing demand,” Mr Turley says.

“However, capturing this opportunity will not happen of its own accord. Significant barriers exist that will have to be overcome at every step of the supply chain.

“These include sourcing capital to fund growth, attracting skilled labour and enhancing agriculture education, intensified focus on national agricultural R&D, closing performance gaps and improving productivity of farms, improving supply chains and targeting key markets.”

According to the report, between now and 2050 around NZ$340 billion in additional capital will be needed to drive production growth and support farm turnover in New Zealand.

“Our agricultural sectors need more investment to drive production growth and to support farm turnover,” Mr Turley says.

“The danger we face is that we are not alone in seeking to exploit the global soft commodity boom and countries like Brazil with its highly successful soy industry are leading the charge.

“If we are serious about wanting to develop vibrant, globally dominant and highly profitable agricultural industries, we will need all stakeholders in the industry to work together to bring about change.

“There are environmental issues and foreign and domestic investment comfort levels that New Zealanders also need to consider in making these choices. These are the choices facing policy makers as they strive to make New Zealand more economically successful. Sadly, we’re not even having that debate in New Zealand at the moment.”

I’m not sure it’s right to say we’re not having that debate here.

We are, but it is usually driven by people who oppose the development of irrigation, the intensification of agriculture and horticulture and other measures which will help us produce more.

There are environmental issues involved with intensification but instead of saying “no” we need to find ways of increasing production while protecting the environment.

The full report is here.

 


October 20 in history

October 20, 2012

1548 The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) was founded by Captain Alonso de Mendoza by appointment of the king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

1632 Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, was born (d. 1723).

1740 Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refused to honour the Pragmatic Sanction (allowing succession by a daughter) and the War of the Austrian Succession began.

1781 Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, was approved in Habsburg Monarchy.

1803 The United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

1818 The Convention of 1818 signed between the United States and the United Kingdom which, among other things, settled the Canada – United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.

1827  Battle of Navarino – a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada was defeated by British, French, and Russian naval force in the port of Navarino in Pylos, Greece.

1859  John Dewey, American philosopher, was born (d. 1952).

1883  Peru and Chile signed the Treaty of Ancón, by which the Tarapacá province was ceded to the latter, bringing an end to Peru’s involvement in the War of the Pacific.

1904  Anna Neagle, English actress, was born (d. 1986).

1910  The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the RMS Titanic, was launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast

1932 William Christopher, American actor who played Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H, was born.

1934 Michiko, empress of Japan, was born.

1935  The Long March ended.

1941 Stan Graham was shot by police after five days on the run.

Fugitive Stan Graham shot by police

1941  World War II: Thousands of civilians in German-occupied Serbia were killed in the Kragujevac massacre.

1944  Liquid natural gas leaked from storage tanks in Cleveland, then exploded; levelling 30 blocks and killing 130.

1944 – General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return to the Philippines when he commanded an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.

1947 The House Un-American Activities Committee began its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevented some from working in the industry for years.

1950  Tom Petty, American musician, was born.

1951 The “Johnny Bright Incident“  in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

1952 Governor Evelyn Baring declared a state of emergency in Kenya and began arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya.

1967 A purported bigfoot was filmed by Patterson and Gimlin.

1968  Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1970 Siad Barre declared Somalia a socialist state.

1971 The Nepal Stock Exchange collapsed.

1973  ”Saturday Night Massacre“: President Richard Nixon fired Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

1973  The Sydney Opera House opened.

1976  The ferry George Prince was struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River. Seventy-eight passengers and crew died and only 18 people aboard the ferry survived.

1977 A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot.

1979  The John F. Kennedy library was opened in Boston.

1982  During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people were crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster.

1984 The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in Monterey Bay, California.

1991 The Oakland Hills firestorm killed 25 and destroyed 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

2011 – The former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, and his son Mutassim Gaddafi were killed shortly after the Battle of Sirte while in the custody of NTC fighters.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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