Word of the day

March 23, 2013

Confabulation – chat; familiar talk; easy, unrestrained, unceremonious conversation; a plausible but imagined memory that fills in gaps in what is remembered; filling in gaps in one’s memory with fabrications that one believes to be facts; a a memory disturbance that is characterized by verbal statements or actions that inaccurately describe history, background, and present situations.


7/10

March 23, 2013

7/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.


Saturday smiles

March 23, 2013

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognises you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump there, and I’m not as agile as I used to be.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense. It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get.

 


Rural round-up

March 23, 2013

Forestry helps economy grow at fastest pace in three years – Paul McBeth:

The New Zealand economy grew at the fastest quarterly pace in three years in the tail end of last year as demand for forestry exports underpinned gains in the primary sector. The kiwi dollar climbed on the figures.

Gross domestic product grew 1.5 percent to $36.81 billion in the three months ended December 31, from a 0.2 percent pace in the September period, according to Statistics New Zealand.

That is almost twice the 0.8 percent pace of expansion predicted by the Reserve Bank in its latest forecasts published last week and the fastest pace since December 2009. . .

Dairy price rise not the breaking dawn:

Federated Farmers is warning against overstating the 14.8 percent rise in the latest GlobalDairyTrade online auction, saying the increase is driven solely by supply and demand.

“New Zealand’s drought needs to be taken with the one that the United States suffered and unexceptional production out of Europe,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“When you look at the global picture it is no wonder prices have spiked upwards. Westpac is forecasting New Zealand’s production may actually decline for the first time in years. The truth is that the supply of milk and global demand is finely balanced.

“This makes markets skitty and while any increase in international price is welcome, it is moot when you are yet to be fully paid-out for what you have produced. In the North Island many herds have either stopped production or are in the process of drying off early. . .

Local TBfree stalwart retires after three decades:

Well-known Helensville farmer John Glasson will retire from the TBfree Auckland Committee this month after 30 years at the forefront of the region’s mission to control bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Mr Glasson played an important role in reducing possum numbers and cattle and deer herd TB testing requirements in the South Kaipara Head area. “I recall my first experience with bovine TB in 1953 when 48 out of my father’s 100 cattle tested positive to the disease,” said Mr Glasson. These kinds of figures are unheard of today in the Auckland region.

His father’s encounter with the disease, and the experiences of others, prompted Mr Glasson to become involved with the TB control programme as a member of the Regional Animal Health Committee in the early 1980s. He recalls large numbers of possums that were passing the disease to farmed cattle and deer in the region. . .

East Coast still dry – 11mm not enough Fed head says – Kristen Paterson:

The huge low that spread across New Zealand days ago brought rain and relief to most areas of the country but the East Coast is still dry after a minimal fall.

The region is in the grips of what is a 70-year serious drought event, Federated Farmers President Bruce Wills told BusinessDesk.

“There’s a long way to go yet. All the rain did was give us some hope and a bit of a reprieve,” he says. But even after the rain it’s going to take two to three weeks to grow grass on the dry, parched paddocks. . .

Kiwifruit helps maintain muscles at optimum levels

Researchers at the University of Otago, Christchurch, have found a daily vitamin C intake equivalent to eating two kiwifruit a day is required to ensure muscles maintain optimal levels.

Professor Margreet Vissers and her team at the Centre for Free Radical Research gave 54 males aged 18-35 either half a kiwifruit or two kiwifruit a day over a six-week period.

They then measured the vitamin C content in muscle and elsewhere in the body. . .

Lincoln University experts on tourism and water:

Potential water shortages and water stress will present a significant threat to the future growth and development of the tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region states a white paper on Tourism and Water released today in Singapore.

The international white paper was prepared by a leading research consortium supported by the EarthCheck Research Institute and EcoLab international a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies.

Susanne Becken, Adjunct Professor at Lincoln University and Professor of Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University, together with Dr Raj Rajan, Vice-President of Global Sustainability for Ecolab, presented the findings of the white paper at the Singapore International Water Festival.  . .

World Wine Trade Group conclude Treaty Protocol on wine labelling:

Trade Minister Tim Groser has welcomed the new Treaty Protocol on Wine Labelling, agreed today by members of the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG).

In 2007, the WWTG negotiated a Treaty on Wine Labelling which set new standards in the field. The Protocol takes this further by requiring participant countries to allow the importation and sale of wine from other signatories, provided it meets minimum standards for labelling (relating to alcohol tolerance, variety, vintage and wine region), and the exporting country’s laws and regulations.

The key benefits of the Protocol for New Zealand producers are that, once in force, it should provide enhanced access to overseas markets, enhanced predictability about regulation in key markets; and will set a useful benchmark for WWTG observer countries and other non-members. . .

Waikato Times letter of the month: runner up – Quote Unquote:

Another drought-related letter, this time blaming gay marriage rather than PKE, as the winner did. From yesterday’s issue, 21 March:

God and the drought

I have a thought about the drought in this country, which affects our country at its grass roots.

Perhaps a contributing factor is the new marriage law proposed in Parliament. . .


Ask Nikki anything

March 23, 2013

The NBR invited readers to ask Nikki Kaye anything.

The questions to and answers from the Minsiter for Food Safety, Civil Defence and Youth Affairs and Associate Minister of Immigration and Education are here and include:

#5 by Sarah Anderson 13 hours ago

One day, down the track, do you want to be Prime Minister?

by Nikki Kaye (verified) 8 hours ago in reply to Sarah Anderson

No, that’s not my goal. I spend quite a bit of time with the PM and I see the hours he puts in and the intensity of the job. I think you really have to want it to get there. My goal is to make the greatest difference I can. At the moment that is in politics. One day it could be in business or charitable sectors. Sounds a bit cheesy, but the main thing is when I walk out of Parliament I want to have little regret that I did my best each day to work hard and have courage to make positive change. I promise not to talk about world peace…

#6 by Natalie Jones 15 hours ago
Stuff (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/video/6052864/Battle-of-the-babes) and the Herald (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764176) hammered the “Battle of Babes” angle last election as you and Jacinda Ardern faced off in Auckland Central. Harmless fun that helps increase interest in politics, or getting a bit tiresome? Thx
by Nikki Kaye (verified) 8 hours ago in reply to Natalie Jones
Tiresome, want to be known for what I have delivered, not that stuff 🙂
#10 by Fitness buff 15 hours ago

Where did you finish in Coast to Coast this year? Did you do better than Bill English and Nick Smith?

by Nikki Kaye (verified) 7 hours ago in reply to Fitness buff

I finished pretty far back and was one of the last women home. I competed in the two-day individual and Nick and Bill competed in the team event. It took me more than 19 hours, which is likely longer than them. I have said before: I think they took the soft option. PS: I hope this does not affect my list ranking, Bill?

#11 by Fitness buff 15 hours ago

Also, I hear there is a swimming pool in the bottom of the Beehive. Is that true? Do MPs use it? Why do you think so many MPs are so unfit/unhealthy looking?

by Nikki Kaye (verified) 7 hours ago in reply to Fitness buff

Yes there is, but it is pretty small. I don’t use it. I like my colleagues but have no plans to go swimming regularly with them.

#13 by Anonymous 15 hours ago

Does everything go better with bacon?

by Nikki Kaye (verified) 7 hours ago in reply to Anonymous

Not if you’re a vegetarian 🙂 I am not – love a good bacon buttie.

#14 by Anonymous 15 hours ago

As Civil Defence Minister – what was the biggest lesson from the Chch quakes, and what is being done to address it?

Do you think The Big One is still on its way for Chch?

by Nikki Kaye (verified) 7 hours ago in reply to Anonymous

One of the biggest lessons from the Christchurch earthquakes was that we need to strengthen our recovery framework for major emergencies. It was hard for us as government to have to pass a separate piece of legislation which focuses on the rebuild and recovery, but it was absolutely necessary to ensure the rebuild happens. I am focused on delivering more than a 100 recommendations that came out of corrective action plan. I am also looking at a legislative review to ensure whatever major emergency occurs – be that a volcanic eruption, a tsunami or an earthquake – that we have a strong legislative framework. What we learned from Christchurch is that no matter how good our risk management or prediction tools are, we have to plan for the unexpected.

#16 by Anonymous 14 hours ago

Do Parliament’s crazy hours make it impossible to have a relationship – or to find someone if you’re not in a relationship?

by Nikki Kaye (verified) 7 hours ago in reply to Anonymous

Yes, but this is probably no different to other people in the corporate or charitable sector who work long hours.

#18 by alastair barclay 13 hours ago

When will finally see a cycle race between you and that old man Mallard?

by Nikki Kaye (verified) 7 hours ago in reply to alastair barclay

Hopefully not, as unfortunately I think he would win and this would dramatically affect my political career and general standing in the National Party.


10 factors keep National on top

March 23, 2013

John Armstrong looks at why National has remained so popular and has come up with 10 factors:

It is possible to list at least 10 potential factors as being responsible, some of which are pretty clear-cut while others are simply untested, gut-feeling hypothesising.

The first factor is Mr Key’s sky-high rating as most preferred prime minister.  . .

Second, his moderate conservatism is in tune with the prevailing mood of the wider New Zealand electorate. . . .

Third, Mr Key is unashamedly pragmatic – a word that used to be anathema to purists who stood four-square behind Sir Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson in the 1980s and early 1990s. No longer. Ideology takes a back seat with Mr Key. There is no lecturing of the public as to the kind of policy prescription that ought to be swallowed. There is instead a ”no surprises” approach, by and large. The Government does what it says it will do. . . .

The fourth factor is the neutralising of troublesome issues, rather than allowing them to linger and fester. . .

Fifth comes the economy. Labour’s recent private polling has confirmed a majority of voters view National as the better manager of the economy.  They are likely to continue to do so in uncertain economic times. Why? Because Mr Key and Bill English have a proven track record in handling crises, like the Christchurch earthquakes, in a calm and unflustered fashion. . .

Sixth, National may have issued various vision documents which have ended up propping up shelves around the Beehive. However, the party is not all that good at articulating those visions. It is good, however, at maintaining momentum. . . 

Seventh, National is still largely defining what the arguments are about across most policy areas. In doing so, it’s halfway to winning those arguments. . .

Eighth, opposition parties are instead still devoting considerable time and effort to fighting battles they have lost – such as partial privatisations – or trying to land hits on National by raking over the coals of history, Solid Energy being the prime example.

Ninth, the public may be getting acclimatised to the at-times rather chaotic nature of minority government. Ms Clark’s third term was marred by constant sideshows and distractions. Mr Key’s second term has been similarly afflicted, but it has not been damaged. . . 

Tenth and last, the political temperature is benign in terms of governing. Apart from asset sales there are few, if any, issues that are seriously divisive and on which National finds itself stranded on the wrong side of the argument for ideological reasons. . .

Crucially, there’s no mood for change, the real government-killer, or even much hint of such a mood developing. National may still lose next year’s election, but only because of an absence of coalition partners. Its real enemy is MMP mathematics. It can’t do much about that.

The reality of MMP maths has not been lost on the government or the party. There is and will be no complacency about the result of next year’s election.

Voters usually give New Zealand governments a second term but it is much, much harder to win a third one. It is even more difficult for National which in MMP terms is a victim of its own success, having attracted voters from potential coalition partners leaves it with fewer possible partners.


Saturday soapbox

March 23, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation.

You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

Share the Inspiration ---->> ♥ @[270321286408419:274:Words To Inspire the Soul] ♥ Visit our FREE website : www.Daveswordsofwisdom.com for more fun, wisdom and inspiration ♥ .


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