Word of the day

March 1, 2013

Perfervid – extremely or extravagantly eager; impassioned or zealous; intense; ardent.


Friday’s answers

March 1, 2013

Andrei and Alwyn posed Thursday’s questions.

Andrei wins a large electronic box of fruit for stumping us all. It can be claimed by leaving the answer below.


Champion cheese

March 1, 2013

North Otago people don’t need awards to prove that  Whitestone Cheese is wonderful.

But its good to have our bias confirmed by more success at the annual Champion of Cheese Awards.

With a win for the Innovative Packaging Champion Soft White Rind Cheese Award for its Whitestone Brie Maxi, 3 Gold medals, 15 silvers and 18 bronze it claims the most medals awarded on a per plant basis.

The 2013 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards category winners are:

Crossroads Wines Champion of Champions Award
Meyer Vintage Gouda – Meyer Gouda Cheese

Cuisine Champion Artisan Cheese Award
Very Old Edam – Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese

Milk Test NZ Champion Cheesemaker Award
Jake Rosevear – Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese


The Langham Champion Fresh Unripened Cheese Award
Mozzarella – Whangaripo Buffalo Cheese Company

Countdown Champion Feta Cheese Award
Waimata Brined Feta – Waimata Cheese Company

Innovative Packaging Champion Soft White Rind Cheese Award
Whitestone Brie Maxi – Whitestone Cheese

Elldex Packaging Champion Goat Cheese Award
Aroha Rich Plain – Aroha Organic Goat

NZ Specialist Cheesemakers Champion Sheep Cheese Award
Mercer Pecorino – Mercer Cheese

Thermaflo Champion Washed Rind Cheese Award
Kapiti Ramara – Fonterra Brands NZ

Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese Award
Kapiti Awa Blue – Fonterra Brands NZ

Eurofins Champion European Style Cheese Award
Farmhouse Mature – Crescent Dairy Goats

AsureQuality Champion Dutch Style Cheese Award
Mature Gouda – Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese

Ministry for Primary Industries Champion New Cheese Award
Aroha Raw Milk Rich Plain – Aroha Organic Goat

Fonterra Champion Original Cheese Award
Kapiti Tuteremoana – Fonterra Brands NZ

Moa Beer Champion Flavoured Cheese Award
Labneh Lemon – Kaikoura Cheese

GEON Champion Cheddar Cheese Award
Lichfield Cheddar (aged less than 12 months) – Fonterra Lichfield

NZ Specialist Cheesemakers Champion Export Award
Meyer Vintage Gouda – Meyer Gouda Cheese

New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award
Kapiti Kikorangi – Fonterra Brands NZ

Caspak Champion Cheese Packaging Award
Mainland Natural Cheese Sticks – Fonterra Brands NZ

Curds & Whey Champion Home Crafted Cheese Award
Tahatu by Alan Moore

Curds & Whey Champion Home Crafted Cheesemaker Award
Alan Moore of Sunnyvale, Auckland


Rural round-up

March 1, 2013

Minister welcomes biosecurity report:

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has welcomed a report from the Auditor-General into biosecurity incursions, and says it will be carefully considered by the Government.

“My office has received a copy of the full report today and I’m looking forward to working through it with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“Biosecurity is my top priority as Minister and we will carefully consider any advice and recommendations that could improve our biosecurity system.

“The report notes improvements MPI already has in progress, including updating plans for dealing with specific pests, better surveillance targeting and more regular exercises and simulations. It also notes that overall New Zealand’s biosecurity system has been improved though sharing knowledge and innovative practices.

“We are always looking to review how we do things, and improve our systems. This report is part of that process, and I would encourage people to read the full document. . .

Auditor-General report sets the right direction:

Federated Farmers welcomes the audit by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) on the Ministry for Primary Industries biosecurity preparedness and response activities, particularly relating to Food and Mouth (FMD) disease.

“This is an important and timely report given FMD would not only cripple pastoral farming, but it would hit almost every New Zealander in their pocket,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokesperson.

“We were first contacted by the OAG in 2011 and participated in their initial research.

“The pastoral farming sector itself has been proactive in coming together to deal with weaknesses we identified with FMD response planning. . .

Farmers Need To Know ‘They Are Not Alone’, Says DairyNZ:

Industry body DairyNZ is joining with other agencies and organisations to co-ordinate a range of drought support mechanisms for Northland and other North Island dairy farmers, with a focus on facilitating farmer-to-farmer advice.

A state of drought has been officially declared in Northland today by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, with other regions likely to follow soon.

DairyNZ’s regional team manager, Craig McBeth, says dry conditions are being experienced throughout the North Island and the industry body has already been sending out weekly newsletters with practical advice to farmers. It is also using its local discussion groups to help farmers find out how others are dealing with the dry conditions. . .

Drafting lambs electronically – Gerald Piddock:

Using electronic identification technology in sheep production is paying off for Ken Fraser.

The Fairlie farmer is into his third year using electronic tagging in his sheep flock.

He demonstrated its benefits at a Beef+Lamb field day at Opuha Downs last week.

The information captured by the tags allows him to calculate the growth rates of lambs according to which paddock they grazed on, the crop they ate and what type of ram they were bred from.

It allowed him to measure his lambs by weight gain rather than simply weight. . .

Broom worry backed – Gerald Piddock:

Environment Canterbury is backing the concerns of a Timaru resident over a jump in broom levels throughout the Mackenzie Country this summer.

Broom levels have increased in the Mackenzie Country and other parts of South Canterbury this summer, largely due to the rain the region had in early summer.

The increase prompted Timaru resident Gary Bleeker to write to the Timaru Herald earlier this week out of concern that landowners should take more responsibility to keep on top of the weed. . .

Water governance in NZ – an introduction – Wailolgy:

“Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.”

So goes the saying, often dubiously attributed to Mark Twain, when talking about water politics in the western US. And while New Zealanders are fortunate to have a much wetter climate (and tend to prefer beer or wine), we are no strangers to fights over water.

We see these tensions time and time again in the news. Fishing vs. irrigation in Canterbury. Greens vs. dams in Hawkes Bay. Residents vs. Auckland Council over rates. The Maori Council vs. the Government over ownership. As a nation, we have diverse and, at times, conflicting values when it comes to water.

To help resolve these tensions we turn to some form of governing body or another. Whether it is the central government, a regional or local government, or even small water user groups, they have been given the authority to make trade-offs on behalf of their constituents – to try to balance rival values. (The word ‘rival’ is in fact derived from the same root as ‘rivulet’ – rivals share the same river.) . . .

 


SOEs put govt blanace sheet at risk

March 1, 2013

Opponents to the partial sale of state assets complain about the loss of dividends, they forget about the costs.

Trans Tasman points out the risks of state ownership:

. . .there is a harsh reality to be faced, not only with Solid Energy (what’s a Govt trying to do in owning coal mines?) but with other state-owned entities whose profitability has shrunk: think of TVNZ, NZ Post, Kordia. Not surprisingly, Solid Energy’s troubles have thrown into relief how the Govt’s balance sheet, already structurally weak, can be pushed into dangerous territory by businesses where all the risks have to be shouldered by the taxpayer.

Opponents to the sales complain that the government will lose dividend income when up to 49% of shares in an SOE are sold.

They forget the risks and costs of ownership which ultimately fall on the taxpayer.

I’d rather have my taxes pay for core government responsibilities like defence, police, infrastructure, health and welfare than investment in areas best left to the private sector.


100 new jobs

March 1, 2013

Chinese-owned Fisher & Paykel Appliances is to expand its New Zealand-based operations with a focus on new product development and the company’s component and technology business.

Chief executive Stuart Broadhurst says in a company announcement that Haier has accelerated the business development plan far faster than previously planned.

“Growth is planned across New Zealand in the next 24 months as we recruit for 100 research and development positions to Fisher & Paykel’s Auckland and Dunedin operations, as well as further job creation in other areas of the company,” he says.

“In the next few months we will be releasing the largest number of new Fisher & Paykel products at any one time in our company’s 79-year history. These include new refrigeration, cooktops, a new oven platform and new laundry products.

“As well as local brand expansion, our focus has always been to continue to develop the Fisher & Paykel and DCS brands in New Zealand, Australia and North America, as well as boosting our presence in the emerging markets of China and India.” . . .

Opposition MPs and unions criticised the sale of Fisher and Paykel to Haier.

But would this expansion and development wih the creation of more than 100 skilled jobs  have happened under local ownership?

Probably not.

That needs capital which Haier was able to provide and local investors almost certainly wouldn’t have.

This is an example of how foreign ownership can provide local benefits.

The ODT has more on this story here.


Knowing

March 1, 2013

“There are some things you’re better not knowing,”

“Yes, but the trouble is you don’t always know what you’re better not knowing until you know it.”


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