Word of the day

February 25, 2013

Dryasdust – a boring, dull, pedantic speaker or writer.


Rural round-up

February 25, 2013

Joyce hints at more partnerships – Tim Fulton:

Science and Economic Development Steven Joyce has hinted at more partnerships between Lincoln and the private sector, calling his unspecified plan a crucial part of the tech-transfer story.

Joyce was at the university’s dairy research farm launching the second stage of the Pastoral 21 programme, highlighting the importance of places like Lincoln for information-sharing.

There had been a lot of talk over the years about the Lincoln campus developing and becoming a true agri-technology hub, he said.

Now, despite the cost of repairing earthquake damage, the university had a unique opportunity to take that role. . .

To feed the world we need to fix the politics not the environment – Milking on the Moove:

They say there will be 9 Billion people in 2050. The popular question is “how can we feed that number of people?”

There is literally not a day go by where I’m not confronted with some sort of report, program or video about the challenge of feeding the world.

The common theme is we need to increase agricultural productivity to meet this massive demand. The view that we have limited resources that will make food production more expensive or difficult in the future is widely popular.

Some people who belong to the environmental movements, like to use the growing demand to push their causes, one such cause is to promote the vegan lifestyle as less cattle will reduce CO2 emissions. 

Businesses also jump on the band wagon, because it allows them to get subsidies that keep their business profitable when it otherwise would not be, solar panel manufacturers spring to mind. . .

Eco-n suspension blow for Ravensdown – Tim Fulton:

Ravensdown is usually on full show at Lincoln farming events but last Thursday it was fronting up in a different way, explaining its position after suspending sales of its nitrogen inhibitor. Tim Fulton reports. 

ECO-N was introduced to the market on Lincoln University’s dairy research farm in February 2004, Ravensdown’s Richard Christie reminded farmers at the same spot on Thursday. . .

Irrigation company establishment board announced:

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has announced that experienced director Alison Paterson will oversee the establishment of a new Crown company to invest in irrigation.

The new company, which is to be established by 1 July, will act as a bridging investor for regional water infrastructure development, with $80 million to be set aside in Budget 2013.

“I’m pleased to have people of high quality and balance to work on what is a critical area of New Zealand’s growth,” says Mr Guy.

“Well-designed storage and irrigation infrastructure has the potential to deliver a major boost to our primary industries and support new jobs, which will have a flow-on effect for all New Zealanders. If current proposals are advanced there could be another 420,000 hectares of irrigated land available over time. . . .

Surprise at lack of interest in carbon credit trading:

Associate Professor Euan Mason of Canterbury University is surprised more hill country farmers are not showing an interest in carbon credit trading as they stand to boost their incomes while at the same time helping the environment.

Professor Mason said he is perplexed that some farmers have a negative attitude towards carbon trading and the climate change issue. . .


Fonterra shares too expensive for farmers?

February 25, 2013

The grapevine tells us that more than 30 dairy conversions are underway in Canterbury and none will be supplying Fonterra.

The reason given is that the shares have become too expensive.

. . . Many councillors agreed the Fonterra Shareholders Fund unit price was too high ($7.25 on Friday) and that was stifling trading on the share market.

Brown agreed before the dairy council meeting in Waitangi last week unit fund trading was driving share value, because farmers hadn’t started trading yet.

“Only one half of the market is working at present,” he said, before the interim result is declared in March and the six-month moratorium, which began on November 30, is over. . .

Fonterra is facing stiffer competition from dairy companies which aren’t co-operatives and don’t require suppliers to buy shares.

Conversion is an expensive business and not having to buy shares is an easy way to reduce costs.


Minister to decide Milford projects

February 25, 2013

Conservation Minister Nick Smith will decide the fate of two projects seeking concessions for development in Fiordland National Park.

Proposals for the Milford Dart Tunnel through Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks and the Fiordland Link Experience of a catamaran, all-terrain vehicle track and monorail through the Snowdon Forest are major development projects.

” . . . I have decided that given the scale of these Fiordland projects and the huge public interest it is not appropriate for these decisions to be delegated to a departmental official. These are public lands and it is proper that these decisions are made by a publicly elected and accountable official,” Dr Smith says.

This decision is consistent with the powers of delegation dating back to 1997, where the Director-General of Conservation shall refer matters of national interest, or involving significant environment, social or economic implications, to the Minister.

“The decisions on the Milford Dart Tunnel and Fiordland Link Experience will be difficult. Parks and reserves are much loved areas of New Zealand set aside for conservation and recreation. There is a particularly high threshold for projects in our National Parks. However, New Zealand also needs jobs and economic development.

“I have taken advice on ensuring a robust process. My primary advisor will be the Department of Conservation and its advice will be a matter of public record. I expect to receive the Department’s reports on the Milford Dart Tunnel soon and on the Fiordland Link Experience in the next few months.

“I will visit the affected areas and meet with the commissioners who heard the public submissions after I have received each Departmental report. I also intend to meet with the applicants of each project and seek the advice of the New Zealand Conservation Authority before making a decision.

“I will be taking a careful and considered approach and I am very conscious of the importance of coming to a fair and balanced decision.”

Both proposals have attracted a lot of opposition.

The minister will be in for a lot of lobbying.


Mayor’s office $10,000/day

February 25, 2013

It costs around $10,000 to run the office of Auckland mayor Len Brown.

Total annual expenditure for its second year increased 8.3% and travel costs were up by 435%.

Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer requested the official information for the second year running. He says the Mayor is clearly not walking his talk of council constraint and cut-backs.
 
“He’s going around assuring people that he’s supposedly prudent, but his own office costs point to some worrying escalation in the past couple of years. . .

“This is not any ordinary office, this is a ratepayer-funded campaign machine and people wonder why no one’s prepared to stand against him and his army of advisors and consultants.”

This is New Zealand’s biggest local authority but the size and cost of the office seem to be excessive.

I wonder how these figures compare on a per capita basis with other local authorities.

 

 


The point

February 25, 2013

“How big will those trees grow?”

“One day they’ll be about twice as tall as the house.”

“How long will that take?”

“Oh, maybe 100 years or more.”

“But you won’t be here then.”

“No, that’s the point.”


February 25 in history

February 25, 2013

138 The Emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius, effectively making him his successor.

1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I.

1778 José de San Martín, Argentine general and liberator of South America, was born  (d. 1850).

1793 George Washington held the first Cabint meeting as President of the United States.

1797 Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000-1500 soldiers surrendered after the Last Invasion of Britain.

1836 Samuel Colt received an American patent for the Colt revolver.

1841  Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French painter, graphic artist and sculptor, was born  (d. 1919).

1845 George Reid, fourth Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1918).

1861 Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher and educator, was born (d. 1925).

1870 Hiram Rhodes Revels becamethe first African American to sit in the U.S. Congress.

1873  Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, was born  (d. 1921).

1890 Dame Myra Hess, English pianist, was born (d. 1965).

1890  Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet politician, was born (d. 1986).

1901 Zeppo Marx, American actor, was born  (d. 1979).

1901 J.P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation.

1908 Frank G. Slaughter, American novelist, was born (d. 2001).

1912 Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of Guillaume IV, becomes the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

1917 Anthony Burgess, English author, was born (d. 1993).

1919 Oregon placed a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a fuel tax.

1921 Tbilisi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, was occupied by Bolshevist Russia.

1925 Glacier Bay National Monument (now Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve) was established in Alaska.

1928 Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. became the first holder of a television license.

1932 Adolf Hitler obtained German citizenship by naturalisation, which allowed him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.

1933 The USS Ranger (CV-4) was launched, the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.

1935 Sally Jessy Raphaël, American talk show host, was born.

1941 February Strike: In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike was declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis.

1943 48 Japanese prinsoners and one guard were killed in the Featherston Prinsoner of War riot.

49 killed in Featherston POW riot
1943 George Harrison, English musician (The Beatles), was born.
1945 Elkie Brooks, English singer, was born.

1945  Turkey declared war on Germany.

1946 Jean Todt, French executive director of Scuderia Ferrari, was born.

1947 State of Prussia ceased to exist.

1948 The Communist Party took control of government in Czechoslovakia.

1950 Néstor Kirchner, President of Argentina, was born  (d. 2010).

1951 The first Pan American Games were held in Buenos Aires.

1953 José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, was born.

1954 Gamal Abdul Nasser was made premier of Egypt.

1956 In his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.

1971 The first unit of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, first commercial nuclear power station in Canada, went online.

1973 Julio Iglesias, Jr., Spanish singer, was born.

1976 – Simon O’Connor, MP for Tamaki, was born.

1980 The Suriname government was overthrown by a military coup initiated with the bombing of the police station from an army ship of the coast of the nation’s capital; Paramaribo.

1985 Benji Marshall, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Benji Marshall (26 April 2009).jpg

1986 People Power Revolution: President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines fled after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino became the first Filipino woman president.

1991 Gulf War: An Iraqi Scud missile hit an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania.

1992 Khojaly massacre: about 613 civilians were killed by Armenian armed forces during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

1994 Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron Dr. Baruch Kappel Goldstein opened fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors. Subsequent rioting kills 26 more Palestinians and 9 Israelis.

2009  BDR massacre in Pilkhana, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 74 People were killed, including more than 50 Army officials, by Bangladeshi Border Guards.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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