Word of the day


Blessing – the act of one who blesses; a short prayer said before or after a meal; grace; something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity; a boon; a happy event or state of affairs; approbation; approval:

One Plan biggest threat to farming


A report on the economic impact of Horizon Council’s One Plan says it is the biggest threat facing farming.

. . . The 44-page report, just released, is the last in a series on key economic sectors commissioned by Palmerston North City and Manawatu District councils to highlight their importance to the local region.

The report, prepared by Massey University economics student Carla Muller, highlights the importance of agriculture to the rural community and to Palmerston North. It says in 2011 agriculture directly contributed $268 million to the region and indirectly $80 million. The report estimates agriculture accounts for 25% of Manawatu district’s GDP and 1.5% of Palmerston North’s GDP. On average, every dairy herd in the region has a return (before tax) of $139,519; sheep and beef farms return, before tax, $213,841.

But the report singles out One Plan as the biggest threat to farming in the region, saying it will have a potentially large impact on “farming practices and the farming landscape”. It goes on to say that it’s hard to quantify the exact impact until the court issues are resolved.

Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor (pictured)  told Rural News his greatest concern about One Plan is the lack of resolution of the issues involved. With agriculture such a big part of the region’s economy it’s important concerns over viability and productivity are quickly resolved, he says.

“I think agriculture is taken for granted by a lot of New Zealanders. I don’t think a lot of people realise that the lifestyle we live today in the cities is on the back of the work done on farms. It’s a huge part of our economy and the rest of us re-circulate the money [farmers] generate.”

Naylor says the multiplier effect in Manawatu region from agriculture is big. “There is the direct impact from the farmers and the money they spend, which then generates jobs in the industries servicing the agricultural sector – education in agriculture, research institutions, and a lot of our manufacturing.” . . .

The challenge to councils and farmers is to come up with a plan and farming practices which ensure water quality is at an acceptable standard without compromising the viability of businesses which make such an important economic contribution to the region, and the country.

Christmas missile


If you are feeling guilty about not sending Christmas cards to your several hundred close personal friends complete with a detailed missive of your family’s many and varied achievements, this Christmas “missile” from Lynn Truss might make you feel better.

Counting blessings


My farmer was in a supermarket queue with a police office on Christmas Eve.

He asked if she was looking forward to a quiet day the next day.

She said the morning was usually fairly peaceful but when over indulgence of alcohol kicked in as the day wore on it could get busy and unpleasant.

Our Christmas Day couldn’t have been more different.

We spent it with extended family, relaxed and happy all day.

We don’t exchange gifts with our siblings and stop giving to nieces and nephews when they turn 21; we keep the food simple and share the preparation and clearing up.

We enjoy each others company, laugh lots and end the day at least as close to each other as we were at the start.

Yet another reminder to count my blessings.

December 26 in history


1135 – Coronation of King Stephen of England.

1481 – Battle of Westbrook – Holland defeated troops of Utrecht.

1620 Pilgrim Fathers landed at what became New Plymouth in Massachusetts.

1716  Thomas Gray, English writer, was born (d. 1771).

1780  Mary Fairfax Somerville, British mathematician, was born (d. 1872).

1791 Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor, was born (d. 1871).

1860  The first ever inter-club football match took place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield.

1862 Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

1870 The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps was completed.

1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis.

1879 In Christchurch, 30 Catholic Irishmen attacked an Orange (Protestant) procession with pick-handles, while in Timaru 150 men from Thomas O’Driscoll’s Hibernian Hotel surrounded Orangemen and prevented their procession taking place.

Sectarian violence in Canterbury

1891 Henry Miller, American writer, was born  (d. 1980).

1893 Mao Zedong, Chinese military leader and politician, was born (d. 1976).

1898 Marie and Pierre Curie announced the isolation of radium.

1919   Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee.

1933 FM radio was patented.

1935 – Abdul “Duke” Fakir, American singer (The Four Tops), was born.

1940 –  Phil Spector, American music producer, was born.

1942 Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president, was born.

1949 José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate, was born.

1953 Leonel Fernández, Dominican politician and current President of the Dominican Republic, was born.

1953 Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, was born.

1980 Aeroflot put the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.

1982 Time Magazine’s Man of the Year was for the first time a non-human, the personal computer.

1986 World Population reached 5 billion according to www.ibiblio.org world population tracker.

1991  The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the USSR.

2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastated southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.

2004 A 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.

2006 The 2006 Hengchun earthquake (7.1 magnitude)  hit Taiwan.

2011 – – Cyclone Dagmar swept over Scandinavia, deracinating trees, disrupting public traffic, and destroying buildings.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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