Word of the day

December 13, 2012

Lalochezia – emotional relief from using indecent or vulgar language; the use of foul or abusive language to relieve pain or stress.


Rural round-up

December 13, 2012

Agricultural producers and food processors call for full trade liberalisation through the Trans Pacific Partnership

Farmers and food processors from Australia, New Zealand and Canada are calling on Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries to conclude a 21st century trade agreement in 2013 that liberalises trade across all goods and services.

At the 15th round of TPP negotiations taking place in Auckland, New Zealand, agri-food groups from across the TPP region are meeting together and call for negotiators to uphold a high level of ambition in the trade talks. . .

TPP negotiations need to deliver for agriculture:

New Zealand’s red meat sector is encouraging all negotiating parties in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to work tirelessly to ensure this agreement can be completed by October 2013. Key outcomes from the completion of TPP must be the elimination of agricultural trade barriers and the opportunity for greater economic integration across the Asia Pacific region, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) say.

The B+LNZ and MIA chairmen, Mike Petersen and Bill Falconer (respectively) reinforced the need for reduced barriers to agricultural trade, including the elimination of tariffs and other technical barriers as a priority. Achieving that would create benefits and opportunities for all TPP members exporting red meat products. . .

$2.5 million for irrigation project a welcome potential boost for jobs and the environment

The government’s announcement that it is funding half of the $2.5 million Wairarapa Water Use Project to investigate the feasibility of developing water storage, alongside the Greater Wellington Regional Council, is warmly welcomed by Federated Farmers.

“Water is the lifeblood of farming, which is why Federated Farmers welcomes Primary Industries Minister David Carter’s announcement this morning that the government will add this funding from the Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF) to look at the feasibility of this project,” says Federated Farmers water spokesperson Ian Mackenzie.

“This announcement means Wairarapa is potentially a huge step closer to securing a brighter economic future for its farmers and everyone else in the region. . . .

New Zealand Winegrowers explores the science of Sauvignon blanc

New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) has commissioned UK wine writer Jamie Goode to publish The Science of Sauvignon blanc. The book is based on the results of a six year multidisciplinary research initiative that explores the key aroma and flavour compounds in Sauvignon blanc wine and how they relate to viticulture and winemaking.

“In our research programme we wanted to understand the unique characters of New Zealand Sauvignon blanc” says Dr Simon Hooker, General Manager Research at New Zealand Winegrowers. “What are its sensory attributes? Can they be linked back to viticultural management? Are they generated in the vineyard, through winemaking processes or by the yeasts? This book presents an overview to these questions in a very user friendly way that has given the industry new tools for driving flavour”. . .

Rapaura Springs Judged No2 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc:

The Rapaura Springs 2012 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc has been named one of the two best Sauvignon Blancs in the country by Cuisine Magazine’s judging panel.

Owner Brendan Neylon says achieving number two rank, as well as a five star accolade, denoting “outstanding quality” in a wine, is an excellent result from such a prestigious tasting, and perfectly timed for Christmas. . .


Thursday’s quiz

December 13, 2012

Each year I think it will be different but each year I seem to have one of those fortnights each week for the first three weeks of December.

In light of that I’m leaving the questions up to you again with an electronic Christmas cake for anyone who stumps us all.


Production up, conditions tough

December 13, 2012

Pastoral production has been strong so far this season but global economic conditions are tough for business the Ministry of Primary Industries said in its half-year update to its  annual Situation and Outlook report.

The update shows there has been strong pastoral production so far in the 2012/13 season. “This is partly due to favourable climatic conditions during the previous season which left breeding stock in good condition, and also ongoing expansion of the dairy herd,” says Chris Jones, the Manager of Economic Information and Analysis for MPI Sector Policy.

However, MPI reports the continuing economic slowdown, particularly in the traditional markets of the European Union, is causing weaker demand for some New Zealand products such as lamb.

And the strengthening of the New Zealand dollar against most major trading currencies in recent months is having a dampening effect on farm-gate returns for primary produce.

As a result, total primary sector export revenue for the year to June 2013 is forecast to be around $27.5 billion, down 5 percent on the previous year’s income ($29.2 billion).

Key points for the main sectors:

  • International dairy prices are expected to recover over the remainder of the 2012/13 dairy season and beyond.
  • Lower lamb prices are expected, resulting from weaker demand in key European markets.
  • Beef prices are expected to remain firm over the next two years, following a major drought in North America affecting production there.
  • The forestry sector will remain squeezed over the next few years, due to subdued demand from major export markets – export volumes are expected to hold up, but some product prices will not.
  • Horticultural exports are on track to reach $3.5 billion in export earnings in the year to March 2013, with higher in-market prices expected to offset lower volumes of kiwifruit and wine.
  • The bacterial vine-killing disease Psa-V has spread to nearly all kiwifruit growing regions, and will adversely impact gold kiwifruit exports in the year to March 2014.

Although winter wasn’t particularly tough North Otago experienced a cold spring with slow growth.

However, reasonable rainfall resulted in good growth now the temperature is improving.

This week’s announcement of an increase in Fonterra’s forecast payout has provided a boost for dairy farmers.

But wool is in the doldrums and sheep farmers know that meat works won’t be paying the high prices they enjoyed last season.

The full MPI report is here.


Another hoax call gone wrong

December 13, 2012

In a week when the news is full of the fallout from Australian DJs hoax call to a hospital you’d think everyone would think twice before pretending to be someone they weren’t.

Not Environment Southland chair Ali Timms.

Environment Southland chairman Ali Timms is on leave following an “unacceptable lapse of judgement”. . .

. . .  acting chairman Nicol Horrell has issued the following statement: “Councillors have unanimously expressed our extreme disapproval of the unacceptable lapse of judgement shown by Chairman Ali Timms in taking part in the Invercargill City Council’s televised talkback programme under an assumed name last week.

“Councillors have accepted Cr Timms’ application for six weeks leave of absence, effective immediately. We expect to hold an Extraordinary meeting of Council to consider the Council’s Chairmanship in late January.”

This might speak volumes about the relationship between the regional and city councils but it doesn’t reflect well on Timms either.

We all have lapses of judgement but fortunately for most of us, we’re not public figures and they happen in private.


Roll over

December 13, 2012

Line of the day:

. . . eight in the bed and Winston  said, “roll over” and they all rolled over and one fell out, there were seven in the bed and Winston said, “who’s next” . . . 

It came from John Key in the adjournment debate.

It’s a good line but it’s also a sad indictment on New Zealand First which is registered as a political party but is in effect a one-man vanity vehicle carrying a bunch of over-paid sycophants.


December 13 in history

December 13, 2012

1294 – Saint Celestine V resigned the papacy after only five months; Celestine hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit.

1545 – Council of Trent began.

1577 Sir Francis Drake set out from Plymouth, on his round-the-world voyage.

1642  Towards noon the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted ‘a large land, uplifted high’. This was the first recorded sighting of New Zealand by a European.

First recorded European sighting of NZ

1643 – English Civil War: The Battle of Alton.

1769 Dartmouth College was founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III.

1816 Ernst Werner von Siemens, German engineer, inventor, and industrialist, was born (d. 1892).

1903 Carlos Montoya, Spanish guitarist, was born (d. 1993).

1906 Sir Laurens van der Post, South African author, was born  (d. 1996).

1925 Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian was born.

1929 Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor, was born.

1936 Prince Karim Aga Khan (Aga Khan IV), Imam (leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, was born.

1939 Eric Flynn, British actor and singer, was born (d. 2002).

1939 Battle of the River Plate : At 6.21 a.m. on 13 December 1939, the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic. It became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War.

Battle of the River Plate

1948 Jeff Baxter, American guitarist (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers) was born.

1949 Paula Wilcox, English actress, was born.

1954 Tamora Pierce, American author, was born.

1959 Archbishop Makarios became the first President of Cyprus.

1960 – While Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia visited Brazil, his Imperial Bodyguard seized the capital and proclaimed him deposed and his son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, Emperor.

1961 Irene Saez, Miss Universe 1981 and Venezuelan politician, was born.

1967 – Constantine II of Greece attempted an unsuccessful counter-coup against the Regime of the Colonels.

1974 Malta became a republic.

1979 – The Canadian Government of Prime Minister Joe Clark was defeated in the House of Commons, prompting the 1980 Canadian election.

1981 General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.

1989 – Attack on Derryard checkpoint: The Provisional Irish Republican Army launched an attack on a British Army permanent vehicle checkpoint near Rosslea. Two British soldiers were killed and one badly wounded.

1996 Kofi Annan was elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2002 –  The European Union announced that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia would become members from May 1, 2004.

2003  Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured near his home town of Tikrit.

2004 Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet was put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest was lifted the same day on appeal.

2006 – The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, was pronounced extinct.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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