Word of the day

08/04/2013

Cornucopia – horn of plenty; goat’s horn overflowing with fruit, flowers, and grain, signifying prosperity and nourishment; ornamental container shaped like such a horn; overflowing supply; abundance.


Rural round-up

08/04/2013

ANZCO loss at $26.5m – Alan WIlliams:

ANZCO Foods made a pre-tax loss of $25.6 million in the year ended September 30, 2012.

The year was the toughest the meat processor and marketer has had, managing director Mark Clarkson said.

ANZCO maintained its revenue at about $1.2 billion and importantly also achieved positive operating cash flow of $35.2m, after focusing strongly on managing working capital when it realised early in the year trading would be difficult. 

The level of receivables and inventories were lower than at the end of the modestly profitable 2011 year, when the operating cash outflow was $22.4m. . .

Adveco see ‘huge potential’ in China – Sally Rae:

A shipment of fertiliser manufactured in Mosgiel from raw materials mined in Otago and recently dispatched to China has been hailed as having ”huge potential” for future export opportunities.

Mining company Featherston Resources Ltd, which has more than 3000sq km of permits in Otago, produces carbon and silica based fertilisers and Enzorb spill control products. . .

Clinton manager to represent Otago – Sally Rae:

Clinton herd manager Ben Sanders will be Otago’s sole representative at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards in Wellington next month.Mr Sanders (25) won the Otago dairy trainee of the year title at the Otago Dairy Industry Awards dinner in Balclutha on Saturday night.

A lack of entries in the regional competition forced a revamp of the contest format, and only the dairy trainee winner has progressed to the national final. . .

Methven arable farmers scoop water efficiency award:

Methven farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie have been recognised for their water efficient practices at the recent Canterbury Regional Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The couple were presented on March 21 with the Environment Canterbury Water Efficiency Award by Environment Canterbury Chair Dame Margaret Bazley at an event in Christchurch.

The award recognised the couple’s excellent use of technology to ensure crops’ specific water requirements are met. . .

Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) supports eucalypt forestry initiative:

A national forestry initiative with roots in Marlborough has again been successful in its bid to the Sustainable Farming Fund.

The New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative (NZDFI), which is establishing forests of genetically improved durable eucalypts in New Zealand’s driest regions, will get $216,000 of SFF funding towards a three year programme worth over half a million dollars.

Project manager Paul Millen said the “fantastic” news would see the five-year old initiative extended to new landowners and regions, with a focus on species specific management of the existing and new blocks. . .

Nominations sought for Racing Board chair:

Minister for Racing Nathan Guy is calling for nominations for independent Chair of the New Zealand Racing Board.

“This is an important position as the head of the governing body for racing in New Zealand,” says Mr Guy.

“The New Zealand Racing Board is responsible for the promotion, organisation and development of the racing industry, and also provides racing and sports betting services through the TAB. . .

And with a hat tip to Whaleoil:

FILE7753


Swede’s a southern thing

08/04/2013

My favourite meal of the week when I was growing up was Sunday dinner.

Mum would put the roast in the oven and ice cream in the freezer before we went to church.

We’d come home to the delights of roast mutton and potatoes, accompanied by mint sauce, gravy (made the proper way in the roasting dish) and, in winter, swede.

The delights of swede escape many people further north. That could be because, like stone fruit, swedes need good frosts to enhance their sweetness.

To my farmer’s regret we rarely have roasts and I can’t remember the last time I cooked swede.

But reading swedes sales grow full-blown business  has reminded my taste buds of those long ago dinners.

It’s too early yet, but when we’ve had a few frosts I”ll be hoping the stock won’t mind if a few swedes make their way from the paddock to my pot.

 

 

 

 

 


NZ blog montage

08/04/2013

Ken Perrott at Open Parachute compiles a monthly record of New Zealand blog rankings.

Andrew Stephens decided it wasn’t sufficiently visual and has come up with this montage:

NZ-blogs


Oh bliss, oh joy!

08/04/2013

We had a weekend in Wanaka and waking yesterday to a light frost feeling like it was 7ish when it was only 6ish was blissful.

That feeling of being ahead of myself persisted all day. If the past is any guide the feeling and the extra productivity that comes with it will continue for the rest of the week until my body adjusts to the clock again.

I wont’ go as far as to say I like daylight saving, and I definitely am unmoved in my view that it starts too early and finishes too late.

But the feeling for the few days which follow putting the clocks back to standard time is some compensation.

The introduction of daylight saving when clocks go forward an hour makes me feel jet lagged without having had a holiday.

The week after the clocks go back, I feel as if I’d had a holiday without having jet lag.


No good reason to vote for Labour

08/04/2013

Anyone tuning into Q+A yesterday in the hope of finding a good reason to vote for Labour would do would have been disappointed after listening to David Shearer.

Shearer said:

” Well, what we had been saying before is a whole programme of economic development, capital gains tax, and in the short term-

. . . Well, what I’m saying is that what we need to do is to grow the economy in a way that it’s not growing at the moment, and we’ll be talking about Tiwai Point in a little while…one of the big problems about – no, no, let me finish – one of the biggest problems about that is that the exchange rate is so low that we’re seeing many of our businesses actually going out of business because they’re not being able to succeed. We’re not putting our money in the profitable sector; it’s going into the property market because we don’t have a capital gains tax that will help us direct money into those areas. And if you’re wanting to raise money, then at least put money into businesses- invest in businesses through the incentives of capital gains, and that brings, obviously, money into the government as well.

The low exchange rate was a slip of the tongue. The capital gains tax wasn’t and increasing tax is not going to help economic growth.

Wood’s final question was was what Labour would do for a 26 year-old woman living in Auckland earning $65,000 a year, paying off a student loan and renting.

To which he replied:

Well, two things – first of all, we would have a healthy home guarantee to make sure that where she’s living, in the rental accommodation that she’s living in, is actually up to scratch; it’s both heated and it’s insulated. The second thing that we would do is we’re building 10,000 houses, affordable homes, a year, and that would enable her to have an opportunity to get on to the housing ladder. So there are two specific things that I believe that would help that case.

That’s at best underwhelming and would be even less attractive with a capital gains tax which has done nothing to stop house prices rising steeply anywhere else.


Not in the same league

08/04/2013

Quote of the day:

SUSAN          So you’re not a rich prick?

DAVID            I’m- Obviously, as a New Zealander, I’m fortunate, but I’m not in the same league as our prime minster, no.

That comes from David Shearer on Q+A  yesterday.

Not in the same league as the Prime Minister, David Shearer isn’t in the same league as John Key, and not just in terms of personal wealth.


Is his money our business?

08/04/2013

Susan Woods pressed David Shearer to reveal on Q+A yesterday how much money is in the account he omitted to declare in his register of pecuniary interest.

SUSAN          Much made this week of the Prime Minister’s memory loss. You, of course, have had your own memory loss over that $50,000 US or more, how much was it?

DAVID            I’m not going to say. It’s my family business. I don’t talk about my savings online, but I do-

SUSAN          Tony Ryall said in the house it was a couple of hundred thousand dollars US. Is that correct, or is it more than that?

DAVID            I’m not going to say. It’s my family business.

SUSAN          Didn’t you lose your right for privacy around it when you forgot to declare it? When you broke the rules and did not declare it?

DAVID            No, I absolutely did not. I said that I made an error. I myself came forward and corrected that error. I took it on the chin and said ‘here it is’. And I expect that to be the standard by which all politicians operate if they do make a mistake.

SUSAN          That’s what John Key did this week. He said he’d made a mistake and he fessed up. Exactly the same scenario.

DAVID            I think what John Key was doing this week-

SUSAN          He came forward.

DAVID            No-

SUSAN          Yes, he did. He came forward and he said, ‘Actually, I’ve checked by records and I did call Ian Fletcher.’ He came forward.

DAVID            What he was doing this week was that he was deliberately trying to move opinion away from and deflect opinion away from his friendship and relationship with Fletcher.

SUSAN          Is your problem with this money- Is your problem with this more than $50,000 US in the bank, is your problem that there is so much money there that it would not resonate? You would not resonate? I mean, Michael Cullen very famously called John Key a ‘rich prick’. Are you, Mr Shearer, a rich prick?

DAVID            Look, I worked for my money working for the United Nations in Iraq. I put it in the bank. It’s my family’s savings. I didn’t put it on my pecuniary interest. I declared that and I came forward and I was honest about it.

SUSAN          And you were very well paid in that job, sometimes up to half a million Kiwi dollars a year.

DAVID            No, I think you need to do your research on that, quite frankly, Susan. But, look, working in Iraq, where we lost 25 people, there was a- people do get paid hazard money in those situations.

SUSAN          What’s the money sitting there for?

DAVID            Look, it’s my family- Look, people put money in the bank for any- Look, this is my private savings, my family’s savings. Do you ask John Key what he does with $50 million when he comes on to your show?

SUSAN          John Key actually does have scrutiny over his money all the time. There are reports about how much money he has; he’s on the NBR Rich List – all those sorts of things. So, yes, he does have the same sort of scrutiny.

DAVID            Well, I haven’t heard you asking the same sorts of questions-

SUSAN          I haven’t had him on the programme yet, but when I do, I will ask him. So, are reports that it’s around $1 million correct or incorrect?

DAVID            Look, I am not going to put a figure on it, and I resent the fact that you are asking me to reveal how much is in my bank account. Nobody needs to do that. I have done-

SUSAN          You do need to.

DAVID            I have done what I was obliged to do under parliamentary rules, which is to declare any account that had more than $50,000 in it. I did do that. I regret, obviously, not putting that on my pecuniary interests, and that’s where it stops.

In the normal course of events it is none of our business exactly how much money MPs have.

They have to declare anything more than $50,000 and Shearer didn’t.

That he could forget he had that much when filling in his register of pecuniary interest although his memory didn’t fail him when filling in his tax return is peculiar.

Even if the account has $50,000.01 which requires it to be declared, it is more than a great many people would ever have saved and a lot more than most would ever forget they owned.

Shearer has opened himself up to questions. Many people will be very interested in exactly how much is in the account he forgot about. The greater the amount, the stranger his memory lapse, but is it in the public interest to know the total?

Woods says she’s going to ask the PM the same questions but Shearer’s memory lapse and refusal to divulge the amount in the forgotten account doesn’t give her any reason to dig into anyone else’s personal finances.

Providing it was made legally and anything that has to be declared is, how much an MP has, is not our business.


April 8 in history

08/04/2013

217  Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.

1093 The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin.

1139  Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated.

1149 Pope Eugene III took refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum.

1271 Sultan Baybars conquered the Krak of Chevaliers.

1513 Explorer Juan Ponce de León declared Florida a territory of Spain.

1730 Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, was dedicated.

1767  Ayutthaya kingdom fell to Burmese invaders.

1820 The Venus de Milo was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.

1832 Black Hawk War: Around three-hundred United States 6th Infantry troops left St. Louis, Missouri to fight the Sauk Native Americans.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield – Union forces were thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.

1866 Italy and Prussia allied against Austrian Empire

1873 Julius Vogel became Premier of New Zealand.

Julius Vogel becomes Premier

1886 William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.

1892 Mary Pickford, Canadian actress, was born (d. 1979).

1895  The Supreme Court of the United States declared unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.

1904 The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed the Entente cordiale.

1904 British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribed the first chapter of The Book of the Law.

1904  John Hicks, British economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner, was born (d. 1989).

1904 Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times.

1906 Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, died.

1908 Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School.

1913 The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, beccame law.

1918  World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sold war bonds on the streets of New York City’s financial district.

1919  Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born (d. 2007).

1929  Indian Independence Movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw handouts and bombs to court arrest.

1935 The Works Progress Administration was formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 became law.

1938 Kofi Annan, Ghanaian United Nations Secretary General, was born.

1942 World War II: Siege of Leningrad – Soviet forces opened a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.

1942 – World War II: The Japanese took Bataan in the Philippines.

1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.

1946 The last meeting of the League of Nations, was held.

1950 India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.

1952  U.S. President Harry Truman called for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.

1953 Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta was convicted by Kenya’s British rulers.

1954  A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.

1955 Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, was born.

1962 Izzy Stradlin, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1965 Michael Jones, New Zealand rugby player and coach, was born.

1968 BOAC Flight 712 caught fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.

1970  Bahr el-Baqar incident Israeli airforce F4 Phantom II fighter bombers,  struck the single-floor school with five bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles. 46  children were killed, and more than 50 wounded.

1975 Frank Robinson managed the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball’s first African American manager.

1985  Bhopal disaster: India filed suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.

1989  The Democratic Party was formed in South Africa from the merger of four parties.

1989 The two Greek Communist parties and smaller left-wing parties, merged to form the Coalition of the Left and Progress .

1990  New Democracy won the national election in Greece.

1992  Retired tennis champion Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.

1999 Haryana Gana Parishad, a political party in the state of Haryana, mergesdwith the Indian National Congress.

2004  Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.

2006 Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario, Canada.

2008 The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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