Word of the day

01/03/2013

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


Friday’s answers

01/03/2013

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

01/03/2013

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

01/03/2013

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

01/03/2013

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

01/03/2013

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

01/03/2013

“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.”


March 1 in history

01/03/2013

752 BC Romulus, first king of Rome celebrated the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses.

86 BC  Lucius Cornelius Sulla, at the head of a Roman Republic army, entered Athens, removing the tyrant Aristion who was supported by troops of Mithridates VI of Pontus.

286  Roman Emperor Diocletian raised Maximian to the rank of Caesar.

293  Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesares,  beginning the Tetrarchy.

317 Crispus and Constantine II, sons of Roman Emperor Constantine I, and Licinius Iunior, son of Emperor Licinius, were made Caesares.

1445  Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter, was born (d. 1510).

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born (d. 1492).

1457 The Unitas Fratrum was established in the village of Kunvald, on the Bohemian-Moravian borderland. It is the second oldest Protestant denomination.

1562 23 Huguenots were massacred by Catholics in Wassy marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.

1565 The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded.

1628 Writs were issued by Charles I of England mandating that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.

1633 Samuel de Champlain reclaimed his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.

1692 Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba were brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning the Salem witch trials.

1810 Frédéric Chopin, Polish composer, was born (d. 1849).

1811 Leaders of the Mameluke dynasty were killed by Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali.

1815 Napoleon returned to France from his banishment on Elba.

1840 Adolphe Thiers became prime minister of France.

1852 Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

1870 Marshal F.S. López died during the Battle of Cerro Corá marking the end of the War of the Triple Alliance.

1872 Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park.

1873 E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York began production of the first practical typewriter.

1886 Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) was created in response to Maori concern they were being cheated by Pakeha bankers.

Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) created

1886 The Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore was founded by Bishop William Oldham.

1893 Nikola Tesla made the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.

1896 Battle of Adowa: an Ethiopian army defeated an outnumbered Italian force, ending the First Italo–Ethiopian War.

1896 Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity.

1904 Glenn Miller, American band leader, was born  (d. 1944).

1901 The Shotover Bridge (from which I threw myself three years ago – on a bungy cord) opened.

Shotover River bridge opened

1910 The worst avalanche in United States history buried a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.

1910 David Niven, English actor, was born (d. 1983).

1912 Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.

1917 Robert Lowell, American poet, was born (d. 1977).

1919 March 1st Movement began in Korea.

1922 Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born  (d. 1995).

1927 Harry Belafonte, American musician and activist, was born.

1932 The son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, was kidnapped.

1936 The Hoover Dam was completed.

1936 – A strike occurred aboard the S.S. California, leading to the demise of the International Seamen’s Union and the creation of the National Maritime Union.

1939 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, killing 94.

1939 Trans-Canada Air Lines (forerunner of Air Canada) begins transcontinental operations (between Vancouver and Montreal).

1944 – Mike d’Abo, English singer (Manfred Mann), was born.

1944 Roger Daltrey, English musician (The Who), was born.

1946 The Bank of England was nationalised.

1947 The International Monetary Fund began financial operations.

1953 Joseph Stalin suffered a stroke and collapsed, he died four days later.

1954  Ron Howard, American actor and director, was born.

1954 Nuclear testing: The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, was detonated on Bikini Atoll resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.

1956  Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, was born.

1956  The International Air Transport Association finalised a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.

1956 – Formation of the National People’s Army.

1961  President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.

1961 – Uganda became self-governing and held its first elections.

1964 Villarrica Volcano began a strombolian eruption causing lahas that destroy half of the town Coñaripe.

1966 – Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashed on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet‘s surface.

1966 – The Ba’ath Party took power in Syria.

1973 Black September terrorists stormed the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan resulting in the 1973 Khartoum diplomatic assassinations.

1975 Colour television transmissions began in Australia.

1981  Bobby Sands began his hunger strike.

1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia.

1995 Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak resigned from parliament and was replaced by ex-communist Józef Oleksy.

2000 – Hans Blix assumed the position of Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC.

2002 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda began in eastern Afghanistan.

2002 – The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reached an orbit 800 kilometers (500 miles) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (9.5 tons).

2002 The peseta was discontinued as official currency of Spain and replaced with the euro (€).

2003 – The International Criminal Court held its inaugural session in The Hague.

2004 Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum becomes President of Iraq.

2005 Death penalty for juveniles revoked in United States of America.

2006 English-language Wikipedia reached its one millionth article, Jordanhill railway station.

2007 Tornadoes swarmed across the southern United States, killing at least 20.

2007 – “Squatters” were evicted from Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, provoking the March 2007 Denmark Riots.

2008  Armenian police clashed with peaceful opposition rally protesting against allegedly fraudulent presidential elections 2008 killing at least 10 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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