Word of the day


Preterition – the act of passing by, disregarding, or omitting; the passing over by a testator of an heir otherwise entitled to a portion; the passing over by God of those not elected to salvation or eternal life

Rural round-up


Sheep and beef farming leaders focus on environment:

Twenty-five sheep and beef farming leaders from across New Zealand will attend the first Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Environmental Leadership Forum in Wellington next week.

The Forum is being funded by B+LNZ and delivered by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust. It is based on a successful programme – also run by the Trust, in partnership with DairyNZ – for dairy farming leaders.

B+LNZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Scott Champion says the forum is designed to equip the farmers with some of the skills they need to engage effectively with regional councils and take on leadership roles within their communities. . .

Experts gather to address issues for bees, trees and farming in New Zealand:

An inaugural conference involving some of New Zealand’s top agricultural and environmental experts is being held in Gisborne this month to address the apparent decline of nutritional forage for bees in this country.

Nutritional stress is considered to be one of the main factors behind large-scale bee losses as reported overseas. The Trees for Bees research project aims to help avoid this happening in New Zealand.

The ‘Trees for Bees’ conference is being held at Eastwoodhill Arboretum and has been organised by the Eastwoodhill Trust and the East Coast Farm Forestry Association with help from the National Beekeepers Association. It will be held on April 26th and 27th at Eastwoodhill arboretum and at two field day sites. . .

Energetic Dairy Pioneers Win Supreme in Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Dairy conversion pioneers Abe and Anita de Wolde have been named Supreme winners of the 2013 Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Ballance Farm Environment Award (BFEA) judges were “impressed and inspired” by the couple’s 2800-cow business ‘Woldwide Farming Group’, praising their “boundless energy towards finding a better way and doing the right thing”.

While the de Woldes are heavily focussed on their production goals of 650kg/MS per cow and 2000kg/MS per ha, judges said they are just as committed to reducing their environmental footprint.

At a BFEA ceremony on April 10 the de Woldes also collected the Ballance Agri-Nutrients – Nutrient Management Award, the PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award, the Massey University Discovery Award, the LIC Dairy Farm Award and the Meridian Energy Excellence Award. . .

Second Triumph for Southland Dairy Awards Winners:

The goals of the 2013 Southland Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Don and Jess Moore, are to optimise production and maximise profit to reach farm ownership and enjoy a balanced lifestyle.

The Moores, who won $18,400 in prizes, aim to achieve this by growing their business using sustainable farming and human resource practices.

The other big winners at the 2013 Southland Dairy Industry Awards held at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club last night were Daniel and Emma Todd, the region’s 2013 Farm Managers of the Year, and James Warren, the Southland Dairy Trainee of the Year. . .

Coast Dairy Awards Winners Do It Again:

It is the second time the 2013 West Coast/Top of the South Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Peter and Helen McLaren, have won one of the region’s top farming awards.

In 2008 the couple claimed the region’s Farm Manager of the Year title. Last night they went one better to win $19,000 in cash and prizes. “Entering the awards in 2008 gave us a lot of confidence in knowing that our farm systems are working and it also enabled us to pursue further opportunities and go 50:50 sharemilking,” the McLarens said.

The other major winners at the region’s Dairy Industry Awards dinner at Shantytown, Greymouth, were Blue Benseman, the Farm Manager of the Year, and Sam Riley, the Dairy Trainee of the Year. . .

3 Dairy Awards Entrants Win Bikes:

Three entrants in the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards have won farm bikes worth $4000, just for entering.

All those that entered the awards before December 1 last year and progressed through the judging process were eligible for the Early Bird Prize Draw to win one of three Honda XR125 Duster farm bikes valued at $4000.

The draw took place on Friday and one bike was drawn from early entrants in each contest – the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.. . 

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (already) tackling issue of false organic claims:

“The steady 8% per annum growth in the organic sector over the past three years* has been great for existing organic customers”, says Brendan Hoare, Chair of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ).

“People want what we provide and consumers who are already in the market for safer, healthier, more environmentally-friendly food now have a greater range of choices at a better range of prices.”

“However”, said Mr Hoare, “the move from being a niche market into the mainstream is raising issues around how truthful some of the claims of being organic really are.” . . .

Te Motu Vineyard back under founding family’s control:

Waiheke Island’s iconic vineyard, TeMotu, is back under management of the Dunleavy family who developed it in 1988, but sold to Richina Pacific two years ago. A group including the Poland family and others with strong connections to Waiheke, along with Sam Harrop MW and Paul Dunleavy, TeMotu’s former managing director, have just settled the purchase to buy the original vineyard in Onetangi Valley back from Richina Pacific.

Paul Dunleavy, who resumes the role of managing director, says “This is a hugely significant acquisition. We have a great team of investors who are committed to maximizing the potential from this exceptional, world-class vineyard site.” . . .

Saturday smiles


Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there’s no need to worry.

By taking a few minutes each day with the following exercises a week before the exam, you will be totally prepared for the test – and best of all – you can do these simple practice exercises in your home.


EXERCISE ONE: Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the ice box. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut as hard as possible – and then lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat process with the other breast.


EXERCISE TWO: Go into your garage at 3am when the temperature of the concrete floor is sufficiently cold. Take off all your clothes and lie on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat for the other breast.


EXERCISE THREE: Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Get her to press the bookends together as hard as she can on each breast. Set an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.

In every joke there’s a grain of truth. Of course a mammogram isn’t this bad but it’s not what you’d call a comfortable experience.

However, it is important. Two friends have had early stage cancer detected in routine mammograms.

Farmers not scientists


Federated Farmers’ President Bruce Wills was on the Herald’s live-chat this week.

Some highlights:

If farmers have been suffering so much from the recent droughts, why have many farmers (& your association) in the past been deniers of climate change?
by LouisOutlook April 10 at 12:01 PM
we aren’t scientists we are farmers, we choose not to debate the science but work hard to deal with changing weather patterns.
  • Are you aware of Dept of Labour officials (Manukau office) visiting farms & lifestyle blocks offering advice on quad-bike safety? If you converse with them on the subject and admit that you don’t always wear a safety helmet, they then send you a formal warning letter under S.17 of the H & S in Employment Act 1992. The effect is that if they catch you on the quad bike without a helmet they don’t have to give you a prior warning under the Act before issuing an Infringement Notice. This practice is heavy-handed and deceitful. What should I do to deal with this abuse of power on getting such a warning letter? (I do now wear the helmet, incidentally, but I resent being “set up” in this way.)
  • This is an area where we are closely involved with Labour dept and others. Agree farmers should not be treated as criminals for not wearing a helmet. Our preference is education to over time change behaviour.
  • Hi Bruce, we often hear about Govt assistance for farmers during times of drought. But the manufacturing sector says it gets hit hard by things like the high value of the NZ dollar. And they are expected to bear the brunt themselves. What is the nature of Govt assistance during drought? Is it cash in the hand? Deferred tax payment dates etc…? How does it actually work?
  • Short answer! For Ag a bit different than your example, it is an act of god that the farmer has no control over, 95% of support is emotional recognition and help by Rural Support Trust, a small RAP payment heavily means tested to those that can’t feed their families,
  • Bruce, could you say a bit more about the mental health campaign? How are you reaching people with your message, how do you measure the results of it and how do you raise the issue with a demographic that’s traditionally been pretty staunch?
  • Early days, sent out 20,000 cards with a strong attention grabber” when life’s a bitch” with numbers to call. Lots of response. Now dealing with a number of the help providers to ensure people in need are getting the assistance they require. Only kicked off in Jan’13 so yet to do detailed analysis of impact. At 16 deaths per 100,000 in rural NZ we just want to save lives .
    The NZ$ has risen very strongly over the last 4 years, and is now as high as ever. While that has made exporting tough, do you think that it has also had an effect of “raising the bar” in terms of on-farm and related services efficiency?
    A very topical question! Just 12 yrs ago we were 41c against the US, if we had told exporters then that it was going to more than double by 2013 we would have had a riot! You are right, although very challenging exporters have responded remarkably well and it does keep us on our toes, albeit uncomfortably.
  • Just going back to the drought, is there any support in place for the business that rely on the dairy sector such as farm irrigation and effluent specialists as surely they will be directly effected as well.
  • I don’t believe so. Most service businesses have a spread of clientelle which does give some buffer compared with the direct hit that a weather impacted farmer may face but certainly the pain does go much wider than just farming. We need to remember that drought relief is largely about ’emotional support’, then is no financial handouts. It is the trauma of struggling to feed your animals caused by something outside any farmers control that leads to the worrying mental health issues we have in rural NZ particularly.

Tale from #10’s table


Whether or not you agree with what Baroness Margaret Thatcher did and how she did it, she transformed Britain.

Until I read this in Trans Tasman, I hadn’t realised what she did for New Zealand.

. . . She was the first UK prime minister who treated NZ as an equal. It helped that she was the only one (other than Lady Muldoon, to my knowledge) who ever dared call the Prime Minister “Bob.” Mrs Thatcher stood the line over NZ access to the EU. It helped that she was a healthy sceptic and a vigorous champion of the Commonwealth.

My most abiding, touching and heart-wrenching moments were at a dinner at Downing Street during the Falklands war. It began with an amusing entree. We arrived at No 10 and immediately behind the black door was Mrs Thatcher and her formidable press secretary Bernard Ingham – a towering, battle-scarred, bear-like Yorkshireman, in a robust exchange on a Commons matter. They got on very well, on first names terms. She said, “Bob, this is Bernard.” Sir Robert, who always addressed his staff formally, gulped long and squeezed out, “this is, ahh, ahh, ahh, Brian.”

It had been a good day. Sir Robert had scored well with Fleet Street by proposing the loan of a frigate to replace a British ship in the Indian Ocean. The dinner went well until the butler intervened, calling Mrs Thatcher from the table. There was a serious pause. Dennis Thatcher sensed trouble and leapt up. Minutes later they returned with Mrs Thatcher evidently distressed. He was holding her closely. A British ship had been attacked off the Falklands and was sinking with much loss of life.

Sir Robert rose and proposed a toast to the Royal Navy and those in peril on the sea. He suggested we adjourn but Mrs Thatcher would have none of this. On with business. So we (she with more than a tear in her eyes) continued. Sir Robert would never have subscribed to her economic programme but this never blunted a solid friendship. – Brian Lockstone

Could single issue party succeed?


New parties without a sitting MP have always found it difficult to make traction with voters.

But could a single-issue party succeed where other broader based ones have not?

Behind the pay wall at the NBR Rod Vaughan reports that a party aiming at ending what it call racial separatism is preparing to contest next year’s election.

The report says it aims to be a “one issue, one term party intent on stopping New Zealand spiralling into racial division”.

One of the biggest shifts in political popularity in recent times happened after Don Brash’s Orewa speech in which he sought one law for all.

The suspicion that some New Zealanders are more equal than others is still bubbling away under the surface and a well organised, well funded party could cause it to erupt again.

However, Brash had the foundation of the National Party on which to build after his speech.

A one-law-for-all party could attract support from across the political spectrum .

But it doesn’t have a solid foundation on which to build and the five percent threshold is a hurdle which has defeated most who’ve  tried to tackle it without a sitting MP.

Saturday soapbox


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.

April 13 in history


1111 –  Henry V was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

1250 The Seventh Crusade was defeated in Egypt, Louis IX of France was captured.

1256 – The Grand Union of the Augustinian order formed when Pope Alexander IV issues a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae.

1570 Guy Fawkes, English Catholic conspirator, was born (d. 1606).

1598 Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, allowing freedom of religion to the Huguenots.

1742 George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah made its world-premiere in Dublin.

1743 Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, was born  (d. 1826).

1796 The first elephant ever seen in the United States arrived from India.

1808 Antonio Meucci, Italian inventor, was born (d. 1889).

1829 The British Parliament granted freedom of religion to Roman Catholics.

1849 Hungary became a republic.

1852 F.W. Woolworth, American businessman, was born  (d. 1919).

1861 American Civil War:  Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate forces.

1866 Butch Cassidy, American outlaw, was born  (d. 1908).

1868  The Abyssinian War ended as British and Indian troops captured Magdala.

1870 The Metropolitan Museum of Art  was founded.

1873 The Colfax Massacre took place.

1892 Arthur Travers ‘Bomber’ Harris, British Air Force commander, was born  (d. 1984).

1892 – Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, Scottish inventor, was born  (d. 1973).

1895 Sir Arthur Fadden, thirteenth Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1973).

1896 The National Council of Women was formed in Christchurch.

NCW formed in Christchurch

1902– James C. Penney opened his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

1902 Philippe de Rothschild, French race car driver and wine grower, was born (d. 1988).

1906 Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1989).

1919 The Establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.

1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre: British troops massacred at least 379 unarmed demonstrators in Amritsar, India. At least 1200 wounded.

1919  Eugene V. Debs entered prison at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia for speaking out against the draft during World War I.

1920  Liam Cosgrave, fifth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, was born.

1921 Foundation of the Spanish Communist Workers’ Party.

1923 Don Adams, American actor and comedian, was born (d. 2005).

1931 Jon Stone, co-creator of Sesame Street, was born (d. 1997).

1939  In India, the Hindustani Lal Sena (Indian Red Army) was formed and vows to engage in armed struggle against the British.

1941 Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan was signed.

1943  World War II: The discovery of a mass grave of Polish prisoners of war executed by Soviet forces in the Katyń Forest Massacre was announced, alienating the Western Allies, the Polish government in exile in London, from the Soviet Union.

1943 James Boarman, Fred Hunter, Harold Brest and Floyd G. Hamilton took part in an attempt to escape from Alcatraz .

1943 The Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’ss birth.

1944 Diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Soviet Union were established.

1945 Judy Nunn, Australian actress, was born.

1945 German troops killed more than 1,000 political and military prisoners in Gardelegen.

1945 Ninth American army crossed the Elbe River.

1948 The Hadassah medical convoy massacre: In an ambush, 79 Jewish doctors, nurses and medical students from Hadassah Hospital and a British soldier are massacred by Arabs in Sheikh Jarra near Jerusalem.

1949 Christopher Hitchens, English-born journalist, critic, and author, was born (d. 2011).

1953  CIA director Allen Dulles launched the mind-control program MKULTRA.

1956 Peter ‘Possum’ Bourne, New Zealand rally driver, was born (d. 2003).

1964 – At the Academy Awards, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for Lilies of the Field.

1969 Closure of the Brisbane tramway network.

1970 An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 exploded, endangering the crew and causing major damage to the spacecraft en route to the Moon.

1974 – Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States’ first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.

1975 Bus Massacre in Lebanon: Attack by the Phalangist resistance killed 26 militia members of the P.F.L. of Palestine, marking the start of the 15-year Lebanese Civil War.

1976 The United States Treasury Department reintroduced the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson’s 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration.

1983 Harold Washington was elected as the first African-American mayor of Chicago.

1984 India moved into Siachen Glacier thus annexing more territory from the Line of Control.

1987 Portugal and the People’s Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999.

1992 The Great Chicago Flood.

1997 Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win The Masters Tournament.

2009 – The world’s longest webcomic, Homestuck, officially began.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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