Fonterra units $5.50


An email to shareholders from Fonterra chair Sir Henry van der Heyden says the final price of units in the company’s  Shareholders’ Fund is $5.50.

That is at the op end of the price range in the fund prospectus.

Shares on the Fonterra Shareholders’ Market are expected to tract the price of units in the fund when trading starts on Friday.

The fund will launch at $525 million following strong investor interest.

This means eligible farmers, sharemilkers, and retired farmers will get their requested amounts under Friends of Fonterra

There are more than 9,500 investors in the fund  which meets the company’s  goals for liquidity in the unit market

More than half – 58% – of the units  allocated went to New Zealand retail and institutional investors, and Friends of Fonterra (including Bonlac)

The rest were allocated to offshore institutions

The board will issue around 90 million Shares to the Fonterra Farmer Custodian to support the fund size of $525 million

The impact  on earnings per share is about one cent per share at most.

Word of the day


Fainaigue – to evade work or shirk responsibility; to cheat; to deceive by flattery; to renege to renege on a debt or in card games.

Ostriches not meant to fly into NZ


Biosecurity officials have reported the bizarre discovery of two massive ostrich eggs in the luggage of a passenger at Auckland airport.

The two whole eggs with yolk each weighed around 1.5 kilograms. They were found loosely wrapped in newspaper.

The passenger was fined $400 and will face increased scrutiny by biosecurity officials if they make further flights to New Zealand, says team manager Steve Gay.

He says the eggs posed a high biosecurity risk to New Zealand. “There was the chance they could be carrying avian diseases. And we can’t write off the idea that the eggs were going to be used for breeding.”

“It beggars belief that the passenger could possibly forget to declare something so obvious in size and so risky for our primary sector and environment.

“Air passengers pass more than 30 signs asking them to declare or dispose risk items before they even speak to a quarantine inspector.”

Accidents do happen, even with farmers who ought to understand the necessity for strict border controls on plant and animal products.

A friend forgot about an apple in her bag when she returned from Europe, another didn’t know his young daughter had a piece of fruit in her backpack.

But neither I forgot nor I didn’t know would be a believable explanation for bringing in a couple of ostrich eggs weighing about three kilos in total.

Ostrich farming was popular a few years ago.

I’m not sure if any farms are still operating but whether or not they are, strict quarantine controls will apply to both eggs and birds.

Ostriches don’t fly anywhere and their eggs are definitely not supposed  to fly into New Zealand unannounced.

Rural round-up


Hardy annual a cut above the rest – Peter Watson:

Tim McKergow isn’t getting much sleep at present.

He’s in the middle of the paeony harvest, a six-week sprint to pick and pack the prized flowers for export to the United States and Asia.

It means long days for his seven staff and even longer days for him deciding which flowers to send where for the best return and filling in an “awful lot of paperwork” to get them there.

The top out-of-season blooms sell for $US30 ($NZ36.37) a stem in upmarket Manhattan florists in New York, although by the time everyone else takes their cut he will only get about $2. . .

Rustlers caught in the act by Bay of Plenty farmer:

Federated Farmers is warning rustlers and poachers that eyes in the rural community are wide open for suspicious activity. Something rammed home to poachers after they were caught in the Bay of Plenty.

“Perhaps the big lesson I learned, is not to leave your mobile phone on the kitchen table,” says Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“As the matter is before the courts I cannot go into the precise details. That said, I was working late on the farm and spotted someone jumping the fence. You can say that got my attention. . .

Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir takes top spot at Air New Zealand Wine Awards:

A Central Otago Pinot Noir has won top honours at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 was awarded the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy at a gala dinner in Wellington on Saturday.

This marks the first ever win at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards for the Central Otago wine producer with judges describing the winning wine as “complex, round and rich”. The wine also won the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir Trophy. Grasshopper Rock’s vineyard is situated in the southern-most latitude of the winegrowing areas in Central Otago. The five shareholding families of Grasshopper Rock originally met through a common interest in agriculture, with four members involved in rural banking. . .

Southland Hosts Environmental Leadership Forum for Dairy Farmers:

Taking a common sense approach to sustainable dairying is the theme of a sustainability forum for award-winning dairy farmers being held in Invercargill next week.

Forum chair, past-participant and Putaruru dairy farmer Martin Bennett says 54 participants at the Building Environmental Leaders Network Forum will be asked to share their thoughts on how the dairy industry shapes its response to sustainability challenges. . .

Biotech firm gets $2m boost – Hamish Rutherford:

Wellington angel investor Movac is pumping $2 million into Kahne, a biotechnology company trialling wireless devices placed inside dairy cows to provide farmers with health and fertility data.

Founded by Gisborne farmer Michael Eivers in 2002, Kahne was run on a shoestring before hiring former American investment banker Susanne Clay as its first fulltime chief executive last year.

Kahne has about 500 of its wireless rumen and vaginal sensors implanted in dairy cows and is conducting field trials, with the technology expected to launch commercially in about six months. . .

Villa Maria Estate captures big prize at NZI National Sustainable Business Network awards:

Auckland’s Villa Maria Estate has been named Sustainable Business of the Year at the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards announced last night (22 November).

The awards, which are now in their ninth year, are the pre-eminent sustainability awards in New Zealand. They recognise leaders in social innovation and businesses that are championing sustainability and new sustainable market solutions. The awards celebrate savvy organisations that are reshaping their business models for a more sustainable New Zealand. . .

And from Smile Project:

It sounded too good to be true


We need at least one more house on a dairy farm and heard about a prefab one which was for sale for $29,000.

It sounded to good to be true – and it was.

We went to have a look and found a very old, poorly designed building in need of major renovation and repairs.

It might appeal to someone with advanced DIY skills and lots of time.

But a quick calculation convinced us that we’d be far better spending more up front on a new house than attempting to bring this one up to standard.

Dairy and Pharmac in or TPP out


Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand won’t be in the Trans Pacific Partnership without an agreement to progressively abolish tariffs on agricultural products exported to North America.

Key gave no detail of New Zealand’s negotiating position at his post-Cabinet press conference in Wellington today, but said New Zealand was “not prepared to see dairy excluded” from the deal.

Both Canada and the US impose high tariffs – as high as 300 percent in some cases in Canada – along with small quotas for total imports, and American dairy farmers have lobbied vigorously against opening their market up to competition from Fonterra, which they paint as monopolistic and anti-competitive.

“For New Zealand to do a deal, it has to be a deal on our terms,” said Key, who met with TPP countries’ leaders, including re-elected US President Barack Obama, on the fringes of last week’s East Asian economic summit, where a new commitment was made to conclude TPP negotiations in 2013. . .

Opponents of free trade look at the removal of tariffs as advantaging the country which sells at the cost of people in the country that buys.

But trade protection merely helps inefficient producers at the cost of consumers in their own country and more efficient producers elsewhere.

My – admittedly limited – observation of dairy produce in Canada was that prices were high and choice limited.

Removing tariffs would open the market to produce from elsewhere which would increase the choice and almost certainly lower the price.

He’s dreaming


It is possible to build houses for well under $300,000 as Labour proposes to do.

We’ve just built a three bedroom one for staff for $185,000.

But we already owned the land.

It would have cost more than twice as much if we’d been building it in Auckland and had to buy the section before we started.

The average section price in Auckland is actually $300,000.

Prime Minister John Key says Labour’s plan is unworkable.

“I think they’re in fantasy land,” he says.

But not so, says Mr Shearer, who today showed off two Auckland subdivisions – built by a charity – containing $300,000 homes. Labour says the sections cost about $50,000.

But property developer Olly Newland sees it differently.

“It’s a nice idea, but they’re dreaming,” he says.

He says it simply isn’t possible to bulk buy cheap land in Auckland.

“I don’t know where you can get land for $50,000 – possibly in Mosgiel out of Dunedin.

“I think it will cost five times as much, it would be cheaper to buy 100,000 caravans.”

Mr Shearer set out to prove today that his housing policy could work, but one important aspect was absent from today’s tour – those $50,000-$80,000 sections needed to make Labour’s sums add up.

And the Government says that’s simply because hardly any of them exist.

If  a government wanted to build 100,000 houses a year at an average cost of $300,000, it might be possible to do it in this part of the world – providing they could get the skilled workers and materials to do it and that would be a very big ask.
But if Shearer thinks it’s possible to do it in Auckland where the average section is $300,000 he really is dreaming.




Treaty rights protected – judge


The Maori Council’s case attempting to stop the sale of up to 49% of shares in Mighty River Power opened yesterday.

The judge does not seem to be convinced:

However, Justice Young pushed back strongly in several exchanges with Cull, saying he could not understand the argument, given that the legislation explicitly assures Maori that the Crown would continue to be liable for settlement of such claims. . .

“You are really saying Parliament isn’t sovereign, that it is subject to the commercial interests of people involved with MRP” he said at one point. But Parliament changed the operating environment for companies “all the time.” . . .

“If the statute says it’s protected, it’s protected,” said Justice Young. The reassurance about the ability to continue pursuing Treaty of Waitangi claims was in the MOM legislation.

“Shareholders can’t object. They know the statute exists.” . . .

“Any Maori, hapu or iwi, who believe they have rights to water, can make a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, irrespective of this. There is a mechanism,” said Justice Young of arguments from Cull that there was insufficient protection for assets that are or could in the future be subject to treaty claims.

“You identify a right and file a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal or negotiate a settlement,” he said. . .

The case is expected to cost the Maori C0uncil about $400,000.

They obviously think that will be money well spent but I doubt if many other people do.


November 27 in history


176 – Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted his son Commodus the rank of Imperator and made him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions.

1095 – Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.

1295 – The first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend  “The Model Parliament“.

1703 – The first Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703.

1815 – Adoption of Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland.

1830 – St. Catherine Laboure experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin standing on a globe, crushing a serpent with her feet, and emanating rays of light from her hands.

1839 – The American Statistical Association was founded.

1856 – The Coup of 1856 led to Luxembourg’s unilateral adoption of a new, reactionary constitution.

1868 – Indian Wars: Battle of Washita River – United States Army Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an attack on Cheyenne living on reservation land.

1874 Chaim Weizmann, 1st President of Israel, was born.

1886 – German judge Emil Hartwich sustainsedfatal injuries in a duel, which became the background for “Effi Briest“, a classic work of German literature.

1895 – Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize.

1901 – The U.S. Army War College was established.

1912 – Spain declared a protectorate over the north shore of Morocco.

1924 – In New York City, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.

1925 Ernie Wise, British comedian, was born.

1934 – Bank robber Baby Face Nelson died in a shoot-out with the FBI.

1940 – The 16,712-ton New Zealand Shipping Company liner MV Rangitane was sunk by two German ‘auxiliary cruisers’ (armed merchant raiders), the Orion and Komet, 300 nautical miles off East Cape.

Liner sunk by German raiders off East Cape

1940 – Romania’s ruling party Iron Guard arrested and executed over 60 of exiled King Carol II of Romania‘s aides, including former minister Nicolae Iorga.

1940 – World War II: At the Battle of Cape Spartivento, the Royal Navy engaged the Regia Marina.

1940  Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist, was born.

1942  Jimi Hendrix, American guitarist, was born.

1942 – World War II: At Toulon, the French navy scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of Nazi hands.

1944 – World War II: An explosion at a Royal Air Force ammunition dump at Fauld, Staffordshire killed seventy people.

1963 – The Convention on the Unification of Certain Points of Substantive Law on Patents for Invention iwa signed at Strasbourg.

1964 – Cold War Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appealed to the United States and the Soviet Union to end nuclear testing and to start nuclear disarmament, stating that such an action would “save humanity from the ultimate disaster”.

1971 – The Soviet space programme’s Mars 2 orbiter released a descent module which malfunctioned and crashed, but was the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.

1973 – The Twenty-fifth Amendment: The United States Senate voted92 to 3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States.

1975 – The Provisional IRA assassinated Ross McWhirter, after a press conference in which McWhirter had announced a reward for the capture of those responsible for multiple bombings and shootings across England.

1978 –  San Francisco, mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.

1978 – The Kurdish party PKK was founded in the city of Riha (Urfa) in Turkey.

1983 – Avianca Flight 011, a Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid’s Barajas Airport, killing 181.

1984 – Under the Brussels Agreement signed between the governments of the United Kingdom and Spain, the former agreed to enter into discussions with Spain over Gibraltar, including sovereignty.

1989 – Avianca Flight 203, a Boeing 727, exploded in mid-air over Colombia, killing all 107 people on board and three people on the ground. The Medellín Cartel claimed responsibility for the attack.

1991 – The United Nations Security Council adopted Security Council Resolution 721, leading the way to the establishment of peacekeeping operations in Yugoslavia.

1992 – For the second time in a year, military forces tried to overthrow president Carlos Andres Perez in Venezuela.

1997 – Twenty-five were killed in the second Souhane massacre in Algeria.

1999 – The Labour Party took control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark, the country’s second female PM.

2001 – A hydrogen atmosphere was discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.

2004 – Pope John Paul II returned the relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

2005 – The first partial human face transplant was completed in Amiens.

2006 – The Canadian House of Commons endorsed Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s motion to declare Quebec a nation within a unified Canada.

2009 – A bomb exploded on the Nevsky Express train between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, derailing it and causing 28 deaths and 96 injuries.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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