Word of the day

March 14, 2013

Polylemma – a choice involving multiple undesirable options; an argument analogous to a dilemma in which many alternatives are presented in the major premise; a debate forcing a choice between contradictory positions.


Rural round-up

March 14, 2013

Push for rural health alliance to tackle farmer depression:

A rural doctors representative wants a new health alliance to make a commitment to tackling rural depression.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, which was formed last year, will hold its first AGM on Wednesday afternoon in the run up to the annual Rural General Practice Network conference in Rotorua this week. . .

Urgent decisions due for Sharemilkers and Sharemilker Employers:

Federated Farmers is warning Sharemilkers and Sharemilker employers that with drought now widespread, they need to urgently sit down and jointly plan the close of the 2012/13 season.

“Forget about how you handled the last drought because this one is significantly different,” says Tony Wilding, Federated Farmers Sharemilker Employers’ Section Vice-Chairperson.

“These are not normal drought conditions as there is little feed in the whole of the North Island to fall back upon. There are very few places where farmers can send stock to which has enough grass even in the South Island.

“Federated Farmers urges all sharemilkers and those who engage sharemilkers to sit down and plan for the close of the season. Both sides of the business relationship need to figure out how they can best manage today’s situation to prevent further damage or compromise next season’s production. . .

Sheep and beef farmers support PGP collaboration programe:

New Zealand sheep and beef farmers have agreed to co-fund the ‘Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Red Meat Primary Growth Partnership’, following a farmer vote held at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Annual Meeting in Wanaka last week.

Electionz.com, which managed the vote on behalf of B+LNZ, has advised that the resolution was passed with 77% support from 2746 participating votes. The weighted voting percentage represents 21.3% of the potential total weighted vote based on sheep (31.2m head), beef (3.74 m head), and dairy (6.46 m head) livestock numbers at 30 June 2012.

B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said that following the funding commitment from the Government and industry partners, the positive farmer vote paves the way for the programme to proceed. . .

Meat sector takes huge step forward in supporting PGP

The strong farmer support for Beef+Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding of the Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme shows the entire red meat industry is on track toward a brighter future, says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson.

“This PGP will provide a huge amount of investment in ways farmers can directly increase their productivity and returns through their own efforts, so it is very heartening that Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding resolution was supported,” Mrs Maxwell says.

“Federated Farmers saw the potential in this partnership and more than three quarters of the sheep and beef farmers who voted agreed.

“While the red meat sector is having a tough season with drought now adding to the stress of lower prices, I am confident this scheme could mean we do not face such dire seasons in the future. . .

Drought bites – RivettingKateTaylor:

It’s getting worse.

I have been holding off writing about the drought, but now I want to tempt the rain. It’s like watering the garden and then it rains. Only this time it’s not. And it’s not. And it’s not.

We are so lucky we are only on a lifestyle block. The pet sheep and calfie are not impressed by the dry, but they will survive, as will we with off-”farm” income. . .

Minister meets Brazilian counterpart – opportunities in the ‘giant of Latin America‘:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy was impressed by the size and scale of Brazilian agriculture when he met with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Mendes Ribeiro Filho in Brasilia today, at the end of a nine-day trade mission to Latin America led by Prime Minister John Key.

“In meeting with my counterpart I outlined the expertise, innovation, and efficiency which characterises New Zealand’s agricultural sector,” says Mr Guy.

“With New Zealand’s world-leading expertise, and Brazil’s land and location, there are plenty of opportunities for our countries to collaborate and work more closely together.

“During the meeting I stressed that New Zealand and Brazil should try to work in partnership as agricultural exporters to reduce trade barriers and ease trade restrictions.” . . .

Fonterra launches Mainland cheese in Malaysia:

Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s launch of Mainland Cheese in Malaysia signals the strengthening trade links between New Zealand and South-East Asia, Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce says.

Minister Joyce today launched the Mainland Cheese brand at a New Zealand Gala event in Kuala Lumpur.

“Over the last five years, Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s business in South East Asia has doubled, which shows the increasing demand for New Zealand dairy products, and the growing opportunities for New Zealand export companies in the region,” Mr Joyce says.

The launch coincides with New Zealand Week in Malaysia, a series of business and education events to lift the profile of New Zealand as an education destination, and to promote business and investment opportunities. . .


Potential

March 14, 2013

Quote of the day:

 “She told me I had potential. No one ever told me that in my life. Feterika Fred Sao

This is an inspiring story of someone who overcame illiteracy as an adult.

It shows the importance of education and good teachers who let every child know they have potential and help them reach it.


Thursday’s quiz

March 14, 2013

1. Who said: “Peace begins with a smile.”?

2. Who was the spy hunter in Graham Greene’s John le Carré’s  book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?

3. It’s sourire in French, sorriso in Italian, sonrisa in Spanish and I couldn’t find a noun in Maori but the verb is mene.

4. What’s the name of this song and what is the last line of this verse:

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

. .   . . .  . . . .   . . . . .

5. What five things will always make you smile?


Double standards

March 14, 2013

A media release from Country99TV:

COUNTRY99TV EXCLUSIVE

Horizons Council – Double Standards?

The environmental impact of New Zealand’s dairy industry has been a key focus for media recently. But little attention has been paid to wastewater treatment plants which process urban sewage and discharge it to both land and waterways.

Horizons Council, in charge of the Manawatu-Wanganui region, has been trying to introduce its One Plan, which would impose nutrient caps on farmers. A Government-commissioned report has suggested it would drop some farmer’s profits in the region by up to 43%.

But is Horizons as tough on the seven district councils in the region, which are responsible for wastewater treatment plants?

Country99TV investigates Horizons Council to discover shocking details on the compliance records of its district councils, and the heavy-handed treatment of local farmers.

Part one of this exclusive story will feature in The Daily Report tonight at 7.00pm, only on Country99TV.
Part two will air in The Daily Report at 7.00pm, Friday March 15.


Let’s not be petty

March 14, 2013

A reading often used at weddings concludes with the words, in marriage the little things are the big things.

This also applies to politics.

Petty issues become more important than major ones.

So it is with the suggestion that car parks provided for employers be subject to fringe benefit tax.

A tax system should be fair and there is no doubt that a free car park is a fringe benefit.

But would the costs, to the IRD and employers, justify the money raised?

I doubt it and  Finance Minister Bill English says that if compliance costs prove too onerous the Government may reconsider the proposal.

The government got rid of gift duty in its first term because the costs didn’t justify the revenue it brought in. It would be silly to impose other taxes where the benefit isn’t worth the cost in this term.

National has an ambitious Business Growth Agenda, it shouldn’t be sabotaged by petty taxes.

Rural Women NZ”s creed begins:

Keep us, O God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, and deed. . .

That’s good advice for governments too.


Who’s leading the Opposition?

March 14, 2013

Last year the Green Party had a higher profile than Labour.

This year, as Lew at Kiwipolitico points out,  Winston Peters is leading the charge:

David Shearer says he won’t rule out buying back shares in state-owned power companies sold by the government. He won’t rule it in, either. Why? Does he need to consult his leader?

There’s so much wrong with this that I scarcely know where to start. This buyback agenda has been set by Winston Peters; it’s now two years since the 2011 election campaign kicked off with a pledge to sell these assets, and it’s like the boffins in Labour haven’t yet had an original idea about it. The problem with old generals is supposed to be that they fight today’s war with the strategies of yesterday’s war, but this is worse — it’s fighting yesterday’s war with the strategies that lost the one before that. . .

Peters will never be in a position to act on his threat to renationalise any energy companies which are partially sold.

He’s not stupid enough to make it a bottom line in a coalition or confidence deal. He’s just whistling to his dogs.

But he’s also showing up David Shearer and Labour who are in a no-win position.

They’re not stupid enough to promise to renationalise the companies, that would really scare the business horses and push moderate, wavering voters to towards national. But that just makes Labour’s continuing campaign against the policy redundant.

If they’re not going to change the policy they are neutering their opposition.

The party and its leader need to find another policy to help them make some traction because until they show they can lead the Opposition they’re not going to be able to convince enough voters they could lead a government.


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