Skookum– powerful; excellent, first-rate; impressive; strong; brave.
Rural Women New Zealand has launched a “Feeling Rotten” survey on the causes and effects of anxiety and depression in rural communities.
“In 2006 our “Feeling Rotten” survey revealed a high level of anxiety and depression in rural areas,” says Rural Women NZ executive officer, Noeline Holt. “Causes varied, but for women, post-natal depression was reported as a significant factor.”
“We’d like to know what’s changed in the six years since then, to help guide us in our advocacy role, and in providing practical help in rural communities.”
Rural Women NZ is working with agricultural-based organisations such as Federated Farmers and Dairy Women’s Network to find ways of combating depression following recently released figures from the Ministry of Health showing there are significantly more suicides per head of population in rural than in urban areas. . .
“We recently provided funding for extensive counselling services to rural families in Canterbury following the earthquakes, for example,” says Ms Holt.
She says most people have felt the blues or been pessimistic or unfulfilled at some point in their lives.
“These feelings may be driven initially by anxiety, particularly if we have no control over what is causing our anxiety. While it is normal to feel these emotions, if they continue for too long they may be signs of depression.”
Anyone who lives in a rural areas is invited to participate in the survey which is here.
“At the mid-point in what is a tough 2012/13 season, we are seeing some improvement in confidence since the start of this season. That masks a real split between dairy and the rest of pastoral agriculture,” says Federated Farmers President, Bruce Wills.
“Undoubtedly rising global dairy prices and upward revisions in payout forecasts have helped the dairy sector regain some confidence. Then again, this comes off deep pessimism recorded at the start of the season and things are hardly buoyant now.
“Then we have the strong Kiwi dollar acting like a sea anchor on all export returns.
“What dairy farmers are saying is that they are less pessimistic but this is not the breaking of a new dawn. The good news for the economy is that dairy farmers expect to increase production and spending, with only a small drop in those expecting to reduce debt.
“On the other hand, in the sheep, beef and grain sectors, confidence continues to sink. Meat and fibre farmers have seen prices reverse while the high dollar erodes what they ultimately get paid.
“Beef had been treading water but just this week dropped ten cents per kilogram.
“Sheep farmers are feeling the heat because lamb prices are down around 35 percent on the same time last year. Wool is also struggling and this has seen meat and fibre farmers become even more pessimistic about their profitability.
“That pessimism continues into the wider economy, with a growing sense of frustration about filling skilled vacancies.
“All farmers agree they are struggling to find skilled and motivated staff and this seems odd given unemployment figures. Skilled and motivated dairy staff are especially hard to find so is there a mismatch between where people live as opposed to where the jobs are?
“And these jobs are not low skilled or low paid either. I can say that having reviewed Federated Farmers Farm Remuneration survey we send to our members.
We’ve always had less trouble finding good people for sheep and beef farms than for dairying.
However, the good ones we’ve got in dairying are very good – enthusiastic, motivated and skilled.
“Unlike last season, the mild El Nino means sheep and beef production will likely be down this season. Sheep and beef farmers cannot increase production to offset lower prices and the high dollar.
“As the survey was in the field in the first half of January, the current dry spell will be of mounting concern. We are also aware the ‘dry’ is now biting into dairy production in the North Island especially.
It’s been raining off and on in North Otago all morning which is very welcome after the hot weather of the last couple of weeks.
“While some dairy farmers expect to increase debt most do not, however, more meat and fibre farmers expect to reduce spending and increase debt to get through. It is a concern as agricultural debt approaches $50bn, then again, households now owe over $191bn.
“You can summarise the big issues of concern to farmers as the increasing cost of farming staples, including the cost of regulation and compliance, what we are getting paid for our products and of course, that high Kiwi dollar.
The high dollar also means imports, including big ticket ones like fuel, fertiliser and machinery, are less expensive.
When debt servicing is a major cost, low interest rates are also benefiting farmers.
“It underscores the need for the Government to focus its spending on those things that will increase production while simplifying and streamlining regulation. It may not be ‘sexy’ but it is what the economy desperately needs.
“Tackling the high dollar starts not with a printing press, but by central and local government cutting back on borrowing. While some agriculture debt is about survival, government still has an entrenched ‘borrow and spend’ culture that needs to change.
“Cutting seems to be the policy option ‘that dare not speak its name’ in some quarters.
“Our 2012/13 Mid-Season Farm Confidence Survey shows pastoral farming to be in two speeds. It is encouraging that dairy farmers are more positive than six months ago, but the deepening pessimism of meat and fibre and our grain farmers is concerning.
“We can only hope the second half of the 2012/13 season turns around because the global demand is there and the recently announced Primary Growth Partnership for red meat must deliver what Federated Farmers has striven for; unity,” Mr Wills concluded.
Survey results are here.
Following up her post on what kills us, Siouxsie Wiles breaks down the statistics by gender:
Its striking that more men die of prostate cancer than women die of ovarian, and twice as many men than women die from cancer of the bladder and kidney. But lots more women die of cerebrovascular diseases, that is strokes and brain haemorrhages, and dementia. . .
This is important information for health policy – is the money spent on education, prevention and treatment going where the need is greatest?
Another Waitangi Day, another story about Titewhai Harawira.
Ngapuhi trustees are trying to oust Titewhai Harawira, from her self-appointed role as the kuia who escorts dignitaries, including the prime minister, onto the lower marae at Waitangi.
But they are concerned Ms Harawira may disrupt ceremonies if she is not allowed to keep her role.
Ngapuhi leader Kingi Taurua said the trustees have decided that other kuia should be given the opportunity to be part of the Waitangi celebrations.
Mr Taurua said that unlike Ms Harawira, other kuia work hard on the marae and should be rewarded for their work. . .
Ho, hum – it’s not so much a news story as deja vu.
Who can blame Tariana Turia who is refusing to return to Te Tii Marae this year because of past displays of violence on Waitangi Day?
The Labour caucus is meeting this morning.
In the normal course of events the party would be hoping for media attention to focus on its policy or attacks on the government.
Instead of which attention will be on the leadership vote, required by last year’s change of rules.
It’s almost certain David Shearer will get the 60% of the vote plus one required to retain the leadership.
David Cunliffe has said he’s supporting Shearer and there’s no sign of anyone else wanting to issue a challenge, at least for the time being.
But will this be a Pyrrhic victory?
Winning because no-one else is willing, or has the support, to challenge is not the same as winning because he has the total confidence of his caucus.
Today’s vote will be a win for now but not necessarily a win for long.
I keep trying to act on Helen Keller’s quote about accomplishing small tasks as if they were great and noble,” she said.
“Small is easy, but I find it difficult to remember the noble bit when I’m doing the dishes or ironing.”
1677 Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer, was born (d. 1731).
1789 George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1792 George Washington was unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1794 The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.
1859 The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.
1902 Charles Lindbergh, American pilot, was born (d. 1974).
1905 Hylda Baker, English comedy actress, was born (d. 1986).
1913 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activistwas, born (d. 2005).
1915 – Ray Evans, American songwriter with Jay Livingston, was born.
1915 Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian, was born (d. 2007).
1921 Betty Friedan, American feminist, was born (d. 2006).
1936 Radium became the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.
1941 The United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American troops.
1941 John Steel, British musician (The Animals), was born.
1945 World War II: The Yalta Conference began.
1947 Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States, was born.
1948 Alice Cooper, American musician, was born.
1957 The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne‘s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.
1967 Lunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.
1975 American Lynne Cox became the first woman to swim Cook Strait when she swam from the North Island to the South in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
1975 Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
1976 In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake killed more than 22,000.
1985 The New Zealand Labour government refused the USS Buchanan entry to the country on the grounds that the United States would neither confirm nor deny that the ship had nuclear capability.
1992 A Coup d’état led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
1996 Major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin tied all-time record low temperature at -26°F (-32.2°C)
1997 Two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
1997 Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognised opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.
1998 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan killed more than 5,000.
1999 Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an urelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city.
1999 The New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon.
2006 A stampede occured in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.
2008 – The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) scheme began to oeprate.
2010 – The Federal Court of Australia’s ruling in Roadshow Films v iiNet set a precedent that Internet service providers (ISPs) were not responsible for what their users do with the services the ISPs provide them.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.