Word of the day

March 26, 2013

Scapegrace – a reckless and unprincipled reprobate; an idle mischievous person;  a wild person; a complete rogue or rascal; a habitually unscrupulous person; scamp.


Savings and packaging

March 26, 2013

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* Twenty money-saving tips from bankers and their wives  (for which I tip a hat to A Bee of a Certain Age) and the comments which it provoked.

Among those comments were:

 

Great tips!

Kudos on finding that delicate balance between classism and sexism.

Mr. Moneybags | 4 days ago

 

Cancel your private health insurance and get paid to enrol the entire family in scientific experiments.

wysiwig | 4 days ago

 

You know, this is good, but I think you’re missing a few things that might really help the average wealthy investment banker take the sting out of tightening his belt. For example: . . .

– If you are not particularly fond of one or more of your younger children, there is a great way to kill two birds with one stone by cutting costs at home on food AND the mouths you need to feed. I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout. Not to mention the guilt you will spare yourself by not having to put the little tyke into a private school. It may sound radical, but it’s just a modest proposal.

Good luck!

supernovashock | 4 days ago

  1.  
  2. I really like the assumption that all these bankers are men. What if there is a straight woman banker? Should she get her wife to iron her shirts? Should she just quit in an effort to apease the patriarchy so this article can hold true? I can’t believe this article was written by a woman. Shame on you, Sarah Butcher. It’s women like you who make it so much harder for the rest of us to to break out of the shitty mould society says we must fit.

    Moocow | 4 days ago
     
  3. Straight women bankers are a dying breed.

    Edwarde Sanspoisson | 4 days ago
     
  4. Maybe they’re dying in ironing accidents…

    Jef With One F | 4 days ago
 

One way that I save myself money on a regular basis is by parking my private jet and just taking the bus to Vegas. A jet is not really necessary unless travelling over oceans. This method has saved me bucket loads of cash. I recommend you all to do the same, but if those smelly commoners are just too dirty for you to rub elbows with, you might also consider booking a personal car on the train.

Ashley | 2 days ago

We also looked at:

* Cool and unusual packaging.

 


Rural round-up

March 26, 2013

Station owner hunts hunters – Matthew Littlewood:

A South Canterbury high country farmer is offering a $20,000 reward for any information about suspected illegal helicopter-hunting activities on his property.

Donald Aubrey, of Ben McLeod Station in the headwaters of the Rangitata River, said the most recent incident occurred in the headwaters of the neighbouring Hewson River on March 22.

He said yesterday the reward would be “payable for any information that enables the prosecution and future prevention of those responsible”.

“Apart from the obvious intention to shoot wild game, pilots are typically unaware of the impact they have on sheep,” Mr Aubrey said. . .

NZ seen as agribusiness beacon – Sally Rae:

Damien McLoughlin has a simple message for New Zealand’s agricultural sector – it needs a pat on the back.

Prof McLoughlin, professor of marketing and associate dean at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, in Ireland, co-led the Queenstown Agribusiness Symposium last week.

The symposium, hosted by Dunedin-based agribusiness consulting and new ventures company AbacusBio Ltd, attracted about 50 people from throughout New Zealand. . .

Synlait stock to trade on unlisted platform:

Synlait Farms, the Canterbury dairy farmer whose owners tried unsuccessfully to raise funds for its milk processing associate in a 2009 IPO, is to have its stock quoted on the Unlisted platform starting tomorrow.

The company runs 12,970 cows on 13 farms in Canterbury.

The listing is to “provide options to enhance liquidity to shareholders”, founder Juliet Maclean says. “Synlait Farms is now well positioned to consider further expansion options.” . . .

Greater innovation needed – Gerald Piddock:

New Zealand could miss out on opportunities in the global market if it does not become a more effective innovator, Synlait Farms’ chief executive Juliet Maclean says.

Farmers were fantastic with coming up with ‘number 8 wire’ ideas. But she questioned if farmers were taking good ideas and applying them to their farm businesses to gain better outcomes.

“That’s what innovation is all about,” she said at a field day to celebrate the company winning the 2012 South Island Farmer of the Year.

The day was held at Synlait Farms’ Hororata property, Robindale Dairies. . .

Huge potential in tools – Gerald Piddock:

Precision agriculture is an industry that is still maturing, but has huge potential to benefit New Zealand agriculture, 2012 Nuffield scholar Michael Tayler says.

His report, New Technologies in Arable Farming, identified precision agriculture as a technology that would play a big part in New Zealand’s agricultural future.

Farmers were going to have to turn to new ways of fine tuning their crop management as they faced tighter environmental regulations, he said in his report.

Advances in precision agriculture would enable farmers to more accurately record placement of the fertilisers and pesticides creating more accountability and traceability. . .

Callaghan Innovation Co-Funding Enables Large Herd Trials For Kahne:

Kahne Animal Health (Kahne) today announced that Callaghan Innovation will co-fund a large-herd testing project for their world-first sensor-based wireless monitoring systems used to track health and fertility in cows.

Callaghan Innovation will provide $1 million towards testing the biotelemetry-based rumen and fertility monitoring devices which measure temperature, pH levels and identify oestrus indicators in cows. The devices track and transmit data to provide farmers with health alerts and reports to help with the early detection of health problems, effectiveness of nutrition management, disorders that could impact fertility, and accurate oestrus detection.

Kahne Chief Executive, Susanne Clay, said while there is a global market for the technology, the company has given priority to the local market to help Kiwi farmers solve livestock issues to drive efficiencies that impact their bottom lines. . .

Trust as much as science is at the heart of water management – Chris Arbuckle:

For many years now “Water User Groups” (WUG’s) have done a great job implementing community-based water management initiatives. And they have achieved this with the assistance of organizations such as the Landcare Trust, Crown Research Institutes, non-government agencies and regional councils. Projects on the Waituna Lagoon, Upper Taieri River and Aorere Catchment attest to this. They were formed because a community of people desired practical action to address concerns about environmental change. Usually a champion has encouraged a group of interested people to form around an issue to seek a solution. In the main this is all done voluntarily, for the well-being of the water resource and community, and by someone with great charisma to drive it through.

Of the three main recommendations in the Government’s “Freshwater Reform 2013 and beyond” [http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/water/freshwater-reform-2013/index.html] (national objectives framework; collaborative community planning (CCP); managing within quality and quantity limits using best industry practices); the collaborative planning bit clearly represents the biggest challenge. Without this working the other two recommendations lose their effectiveness. . . .

Thai Prime Minister Sees Fonterra’s Quality Processes First Hand:

Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday met with Fonterra Co-operative Group Chairman John Wilson for a tour of a South Auckland dairy farm and also visited the Co-operative’s Te Rapa manufacturing site.

The visit was an opportunity for Mr Wilson to further strengthen the company’s relationship with Thailand, where it is the number one supplier of dairy ingredients.

Mr Wilson said Fonterra was honoured to host Ms Shinawatra and provide her, and the Thai trade delegation with a deeper understanding of their business, and the New Zealand dairy industry. . .


Most believe superannuation insufficient

March 26, 2013

Only nine percent of people believe that New Zealand superannuation alone will provide them with adequate retirement income.

The survey by Horizon Research survey was released by the Financial Services Council which has a vested interest in people investing more.

But the results aren’t surprising, you’d have a very modest lifestyle if you thought $349 per week for an individual and $537 per week for a couple was anything more than barely adequate.

It was never designed to provide more than that and it is good that people realise they will have to make some provision for retirement income to top up the universal super.


First only matters if left too?

March 26, 2013

Usually being the first woman to hold a prominent position is regarded as newsworthy.

Not so with the appointment of Dame Susan Devoy as the Race Relations Commissioner.

Instead, the huffing and puffing about her suitability, or not, for the role has got the headlines and her gender received hardly a mention.

If it meant that there are sufficient women in prominent positions that another one isn’t regarded as unusual that is a positive sign of evolution.

However, I suspect the lack of interest in Dame Susan being the first woman is because her perceived politics matter more to to those to whom these things matter than her gender.

Helen Clark often gets more acknowledgement for being New Zealand’s first elected female Prime Minister than Dame Jenny Shipley does for being the first woman to hold that office and Ruth Richardson rarely gets noted for being the first woman to be Minister of Finance.

To some being the first woman in a role isn’t regarded as noteworthy if you’re not also likely to be a darling of the left.

P.S.

A pleasant exception to the huffing and puffing is this media release from the New Zealand Maori Council:

“We are pleased to welcome Dame Susan as Race Relations Commissioner, and look forward to a close and meaningful relationship,” stated Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie, co-chair of the New Zealand Maori Council. “The office of Race Relations Commissioner, formerly known as Conciliator, has a proud history of advocating on behalf of Maori and we are sure that Dame Susan will continue that tradition.” . . .

Maanu Paul, co-chair of the New Zealand Maori Council . . . said that Dame Susan had a proud history to live up to, as previous Race Relations Commissioners had striven to expose racism and set a better course for our nation. “We have watched her on the squash courts, on the road raising awareness and money to help people with muscular dystrophy and in company board rooms. She was unbeatable there, and we hope she will continue to inspire us into the future.”

My recollection of news about the Race relations Commissioner in recent times is that it has largely been negative.

Someone coming from another direction might well be able to change that and she should at least be given the chance to prove herself.

 

 


US dairy farmers fear free trade

March 26, 2013

The prospect of free trade is worrying United States dairy producers.

Organisations representing rural America are urging the US government not to give Fonterra more access to their domestic dairy market – saying its unfair market power has the potential to seriously damage American livelihoods.

Eleven groups representing US dairy farmers and rural communities have written to the Senate finance committee arguing that the Trans-Pacifc Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreement currently being negotiated threatens their dairy sector. . .

Farmers here were equally concerned when we lost subsidies and protection. But that was nearly three decades ago and I don’t know anyone who would want to go back to those bad old days.

US dairy farmers are a powerful lobby and their concern is understandable.

But there will be a lot more consumers who will benefit from the greater choice and lower prices that free trade will provide.


Why is the state still farming?

March 26, 2013

The nationwide drought has reduced Landcorp’s earnings by $12.3 million.

The company would break even for the year, though a change in the weather could alter that, chief executive Chris Kelly said yesterday.

However, the Government’s expectation of a year-end dividend would not be met. . . .

Landcorp is an SOE with about $1.6 billion of assets yet won’t be paying a dividend.

Why is the state still farming?

The company shouldn’t be sold as a whole but it should gradually sell its 122 farms and free up the capital for use in other assets which are core government business.

 


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