Word of the day

March 4, 2013

Encomium – warm, glowing praise; formal expression of high praise; tribute; eulogy.


Rural round-up

March 4, 2013

Commission updates Primary Production select committee on interest rate swaps investigation:

Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry has today provided an update to the Primary Production select committee on the Commission’s progress in its interest rate swaps investigation.

In August 2012 the Commission began enquiring into whether interest rate swaps, a financial derivative product, were misleadingly marketed from 2005 onwards. The Commission has received 42 complaints since concerns were raised in the media.

“The investigation is at an early stage, but we are giving the issues full consideration. To date we have spent more than 1,000 staff hours on the investigation,” Dr Berry said.

The Commission is primarily considering whether the swaps were marketed in ways that may have misled customers as to their true risk, nature and suitability. . .

Minister welcomes King Salmon report:

The final report of the Board of Inquiry on New Zealand King Salmon’s application to develop new marine farms in the Marlborough Sounds was welcomed today by Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith.

“The Board has undertaken a thorough process being mindful of the need for New Zealand to conserve its natural resources with the need to grow exports, jobs and wealth,” Dr Smith says.

“The substantive decisions in the final report are consistent with the draft released last year, with the Board approving four new farms. These farms will occupy an area of just six hectares of surface water space out of a total of about 100,000 hectares in the Marlborough Sounds. They will enable King Salmon to grow its production from 7,500 to 15,000 tonnes per year, employ another 170 people and boost its annual export earnings by an extra $60m. . .

Good For Marlborough, Good For New Zealand:

The EPA Board of Inquiry’s (BOI) final determination will enable New Zealand King Salmon to deliver long-term benefits to the region, the community and the national economy.

Aquaculture New Zealand Chairman Peter Vitasovich said the four new salmon farms approved in the decision would create permanent full-time jobs and provide significant downstream benefits for associated industries while generating export earnings through the sustainable production of premium seafood.

“Four new working salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds will provide valuable employment opportunities within the community, while also attracting skilled labour to the region, to work across the spectrum of production – from farming to processing to marketing and business roles,” Mr Vitasovich said. . .

Final decision on King Salmon released by EPA

The EPA’s Board of Inquiry has issued its final decision on the King Salmon applications today, approving four out of nine salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds.

“An earlier draft decision announced that 5 of the 9 nine sites would be refused consent and approvals given for 4 sites. This final decision doesn’t change anything in that respect,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“We acknowledge that the Board has declined consent for 5 sites but it has not gone far enough.

“The areas the industrial scale consented farms are to be located in are highly natural and in prominent locations in the iconic and internationally renowned Marlborough Sounds. . .

Fonterra And A-Ware Food Group Confirm European Partnership:

New Zealand-based Fonterra and Netherlands-based A-ware Food Group have given the green light to develop a new cheese plant and dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen in the north of the Netherlands.

Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings and A-ware Food Group CEO Jan Anker have today confirmed the partnership would proceed and signed a final agreement.

Under the agreement a greenfields site will be developed where A-ware will operate a cheese plant and Fonterra will operate a dairy ingredients plant alongside it. Cheese will be produced for A-ware’s customers in Europe and the whey and lactose produced will be processed into premium nutrition dairy ingredients for Fonterra’s global customer base. . .

Wools Of New Zealand Closes Capital Raise:

Wools of New Zealand has closed its capital raise with more than 700 applications for shares totalling approximately $6 million, representing approximately 14.5 million kilograms of annual strong wool production and a five-year marketing commitment.

As a 100% grower owned company, Wools of New Zealand is now positioned to drive its commercial, market-pull strategy, for the benefit of its shareholders.

Mark Shadbolt, chairman of Wools of New Zealand, said there had been a lot of late interest right up to the close of the offer. . .


Oyster appeal lost on me

March 4, 2013

There are those who love oysters and there are those like me on whom the appeal of oysters is lost.

If you’re in the first camp you’ll be delighted to know that the season which opened last week is expected to be a good one:

They’re big, they’re juicy and they’re here.

About 180,000 Bluff oysters, 15,000 dozen, were dredged in Foveaux Strait yesterday on the first day of the oyster season.

Bluff Oyster Management Company spokesman and Barnes Oysters manager Graeme Wright said skippers were happy with the first catch and the haul was as good as last year.

The oysters tasted “bloody good” and were quite large, he said.

Eleven oyster boats went out and early indications were it could be a healthy season, Mr Wright said.

Oystermen spent the first day combing the large area looking for good spots, he added.

“So far it’s looking pretty good but the weather wasn’t pleasant on the strait”. . .

I won a dozen oysters in a National party raffle last year but they weren’t wasted – my farmer had his own share and mine.

It helped him get over an incident a few weeks earlier when I’d noticed the use-by date on a pottle of oysters had passed and gave the last couple to the dog.


Business success

March 4, 2013

Business failure makes the headlines, success is often regarded as business as usual.

But every day businesses, big, small and in between are employing people to produce goods or services other people, here and overseas, want to buy.

One of these is the Fiordland Lobster Company:

Back in the 1980s, lobsters – or crayfish as we know them – were generally tailed, frozen and exported mainly to the United States. The bodies were discarded as waste.

The Fiordland Lobster Company is part of the industry-wide transformation that has happened since then.

The company is run out of a small office in Te Anau and has become a market leader in live crayfish exports to high-end customers in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

It was set up in 1987 as a partnership between 15 Fiordland fishermen and seafood processor Mount Maunganui Seafoods.

The company now exports more than 800 tonnes of lobster a year and its annual revenue tops US$50 million.

Including casual workers, it employs up to 60 staff at the peak of each season.

This is not just a story about clever exporting.

It’s a story firstly about the company’s determination to manage the recovery of crayfish fisheries and then maintaining them at sustainable levels.

It’s also a story about careful and meticulous development of intellectual property and use of technology over more than two decades.

In the case of Fiordland Lobster, a key to its success is keeping the crayfish alive and in premium condition until they reach their overseas customers.

That is no small challenge. Over a number of years, it has invested heavily in research and development to produce holding tanks that are controlled to provide ideal water conditions, where the crayfish spend 24 to 48 hours before being packed for export.

They land at their destinations alive and command a premium price.

It shows that at a time of a relatively high exchange rate, there is no distinction between so-called commodity and high-tech exports.

All New Zealand exporters have to be smart to succeed – whatever their product or service.

We have hundreds more Kiwi businesses investing and growing like the Fiordland Lobster Company. . .

This is an extract from a speech by Bill English.


Dodgy numbers

March 4, 2013

Last week Social Development Minister Paula Bennett issued media releases which said the future focus was helping to reduce the number of people on benefits and benefit figures were under forecast.

Yesterday the Herald on Sunday featured Labour’s Jacinda Ardern saying more people were on benefits.

So who’s right?

Kiwiblog has the figures:

Let’s look at the actual data, in terms of increase or decrease each year. For DPB they are

  • 2008 +2,128
  • 2009 +9,007
  • 2010 +3,576
  • 2011 +1,365
  • 2012 -5,112

I think we now understand why Jacinda left the 2012 figures off. What I don’t know if why the Herald on Sunday did.

Let’s do the same with Invalid’s Benefit numbers.

  • 2008 +3,419
  • 2009 +1,537
  • 2010 +67
  • 2011 -1,062
  • 2012 -472

And for those interested in the Unemployment Benefit.

  • 2008 +7,760
  • 2009 +35,820
  • 2010 +756
  • 2011 -7,120
  • 2012 -6,217

They all show the same thing. The increase in benefit numbers started in 2008 (under Labour) and worsened in 2009 as the Global Financial Crisis struck.  Despite patchy economic growth since 2009, benefit numbers in all three categories have fallen in the last two years.

And Lindsay Mitchell provides more analysis which shows Ardern is wrong.

Opposition MPs are supposed to show up government failings but it’s not at all clever to use dodgy stats to do it.

Reporters are supposed to check facts and provide balance, the one who wrote this story failed on both counts.


Smiling

March 4, 2013

“If it takes more muscles to smile than frown, smiling when exercising must provide a greater benefit,”  he said.

“Even if it doesn’t it provides a psychological edge and makes other people wonder what your secret is,” she said. “Though I sometimes struggle to put that into practice when I’m pushing myself.”


March 4 in history

March 4, 2013

51 Nero, was given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth).

306 –  Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia.

852  Croatian Duke Trpimir I issued a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources.

932  Translation of the relics of martyr Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, Prince of the Czechs.

1152 Frederick I Barbarossa was elected King of the Germans.

1215 King John of England made an oath to the Pope as a crusader to gain the support of Innocent III.

1238 The Battle of the Sit River was fought between the Mongol Hordes of Batu Khan and the Russians under Yuri II of Vladimir-Suzdal during the Mongol invasion of Russia.

1351 Ramathibodi became King of Siam.

1386 Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) was crowned King of Poland.

1394  Henry the Navigator, was born (d. 1460).

1461 Wars of the Roses: Lancastrian King Henry VI was deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then became King Edward IV.

1492 King James IV of Scotland concluded an alliance with France against England.

1493  Christopher Columbus arrived back in Lisbon aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.

1519 Hernán Cortes arrived in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.

1570 King Philip II of Spain banned foreign Dutch students.

1611 George Abbot was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

1629 Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a Royal charter.

1665 King Charles II declared war on the Netherlands which marked the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

1675 John Flamsteed was appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.

1678  Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer, was born  (d. 1741).

1681 Charles II granted a land charter to William Penn for the area that became Pennsylvania.

1756 Sir Henry Raeburn, Scottish painter, was born  (d. 1823). 

1778 The Continental Congress voted to ratify both the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance with France – the first treaties entered into by the United States government.

1789 In New York City, the first United States Congress met, putting the Constitution of the United States into effect.

1790 France was divided into 83 départements, which cuts across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.

1791 – A Constitutional Act iwa introduced by the British House of Commons which envisaged the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).

1793 French troops conquered Geertruidenberg, Netherlands.

1794 The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1797 In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams was sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington.

1804 Castle Hill Rebellion: Irish convicts rebel against British colonial authority in the Colony of New South Wales.

1813 Russian troops fighting the army of Napoleon reaced Berlin  and the French garrison evacuated the city without a fight.

1814 Americans defeated the British at the Battle of Longwoods .

1824 The “National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck” was founded in the United Kingdom, later to be renamed The Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1858.

1837 Chicago was incorporated as a city.

1848 Carlo Alberto di Savoia signed the Statuto Albertino that became the first constitution of the Regno d’Italia

1855 Sheep rustler James Mackenzie was caught in the Upper Waitaki with 1000 sheep from the Levels Station near Timaru.

Legendary sheep rustler James Mackenzie caught

1861  First national flag of the Confederate States of America (the ‘Stars and Bars’) was adopted.

1877 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s ballet Swan Lake received its première performance at the Bolshoi Theatre.

1882 Britain‘s first electric trams run in East London.

1887 Gottlieb Daimler unveiled his first automobile.

1890 – The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet (520 m) long, was opened by Edward the Prince of Wales.

1891 Lois Wilson, founder of Al-Anon, was born (d. 1988).

1893 The army of Francis, Baron Dhanis attacked the Lualaba, enabling him to transport his troops across the Upper Congo and, capture Nyangwe almost without an effort.

1894 Great fire in Shanghai. Over 1,000 buildings are destroyed.

1899 Cyclone Mahina swept in north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 12 metre (39 ft) wave that reached up to 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inland, killing over 300.

1902 The American Automobile Association was established.

1908 The Collinwood School fire, Collinwood, Ohio, killed 174 people.

1911 Victor Berger (Wisconsin) became the first socialist congressman in U.S.

1917 Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first female member of the United States House of Representatives.

1917 – Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich’s renunciation of the throne was made public, and Tsar Nicholas II publicly issued his abdication manifesto. The victory of the February Revolution.

1918 The first case of Spanish flu occurred, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.

1925 Calvin Coolidge became the first President of the United States to have his inauguration broadcast on radio.

1928 Alan Sillitoe, English writer, was born (d. 2010).

1929 Charles Curtis became the first native-American Vice President of the United States.

1933 Frances Perkins became United States Secretary of Labour, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.

1933 – The Parliament of Austria was suspended because of a quibble over procedure – Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss initiated authoritarian rule by decree.

1941 The United Kingdom launched Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands.

1944 Michael “Mick” Wilson, drummer (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich), was born.

1945 Princess Elizabeth, joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver.

1945 – Lapland War: Finland declared war on Nazi Germany.

1948 Lindy Chamberlain, who maintained a dingo stole her baby and whose conviction for murdering the baby was overturned, was born.

1948 Chris Squire, English bassist (Yes), was born.

1949 Carroll Baker, Canadian country singer and songwriter, was born.

1954 Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, announces the first successful kidney transplant.

1957 The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.

1960 French freighter ‘La Coubre’ exploded in Havana, killing 100.

1962 The United States Atomic Energy Commission announced that the first atomic power plant at McMurdo Station in Antarctica was in operation.

1966  Canadian Pacific Air Lines DC-8-43 exploded on landing at Tokyo International Airport, killing 64 people.

1970 French submarine Eurydice exploded.

1976 The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention was formally dissolved resulting in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London via the British parliament.

1976 – The last flight of the second Concorde prototype aircraft to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at the Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton.

1976 – The first Cray-1 supercomputer was shipped to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.

1977 The 1977 Bucharest Earthquake in southern and eastern Europe killed more than 1,500.

1979 The first encyclical written by Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis (“The Redeemer of Man”) was promulgated.

1980 Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe won a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe‘s first black prime minister.

1982 NASA launched the Intelsat V-508 satellite.

1983 Bertha Wilson was appointed the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada.

1985 The Food and Drug Administration approved a blood test for AIDS.

1986 The Soviet Vega 1 began returning images of Comet Halley and the first images ever of its nucleus.

1991 Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, returns to his country for the first time since Iraq‘s invasion.

1994 Space shuttle STS-62 (Columbia 16) launched into orbit.

1994 – Bosnia’s Bosniaks and Croats signed an agreement to form a federation in a loose economic union with Croatia.

1997 U.S. President Bill Clinton banned federally funded human cloning research.

1998 Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services: The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.

2001 4 March 2001 BBC bombing: a massive car bomb explodes in front of the BBC Television Centre  seriously injuring 11 people. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA.

2001 Hintze Ribeiro disaster, a bridge collapses in northern Portugal, killing up to 70 people.

2002 Canada bans human embryo cloning but permits government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatment or abortions.

2002 Multinational Force in Afghanistan: Seven American Special Operations Forces soldiers are killed as they attempt to infiltrate the Shahi Kot Valley on a low-flying helicopter reconnaissance mission.

2005 The car of released Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena was fired on by US soldiers after it ran a roadblock in Iraq, causing the death of an Italian Secret Service Agent and injuring two passengers.

2007 Approximately 30,000 voters took advantage of electronic voting in Estonia, the world’s first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting was allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet.

2009 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur – the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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