Four reasons powering back to socialist 70s won’t work

April 21, 2013

Tweets of the day:

  1. 4.Polish shipyard approach discourages investment & jobs in NZ. Capital is mobile, Lab doesn’t understand, Greens don’t care #policyfail

  2. 2. Labour has #policyfail form. Under them, power prices up 70%. National’s more than halved that. Well-regulated competition = lower prices

  3. 1. It won’t work. Intl examples show power shortages, taxpayer subsidies, dramatic price incr. Even Lab govt opposed it (2006) #policyfail


Word of the day

April 21, 2013

Undulant – having a rising and falling motion or appearance like that of waves; undulating; resembling waves in form, motion, pattern or occurrence.


Postive affirmations

April 21, 2013

affirmations

From Story People by Brian Andreas


Rural round-up

April 21, 2013

New water use plan for Canterbury – Annette Lunn:

A new water plan will allow more land to be irrigated in Canterbury – but has set strict limits on the amount of phosphorus in the waterways.

Environment Canterbury has accepted recommendations in the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan after months of public consultation.

The plan allows 70,000 more hectares of land to be irrigated. . .

Take good care of your farming mates – Pasture to Profit:

This week on Twitter there was a Multi-Nation discussion and concern about “farmers being in dark places” as a result of stress.
Extreme weather events in many countries including Ireland, UK, West Australia and New Zealand are putting farmers under immense stress. Stress about money, feed availability and the costs of buying in expensive feed when pasture is not growing. 
Hell it’s tough! . . .

Inspirational Young Farmers Win Supreme Title in 2013 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

An innovative and hard-working young couple has collected the Supreme Award in the 2013 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Central Wairarapa farmers Michael and Karen Williams received the award at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 18, 2013.

Their 224ha arable, lamb finishing and beef unit, Ahiaruhe Farm, was described by BFEA judges as a very well organised business “run by an inspirational young couple”.

The Williams have immense passion for their farming operation, applying considerable business acumen to everyday decisions, judges said. . .

Gloves off in CAP reform:– Douglas MacSkimming:

THE GLOVES are off and the fight is on to secure the best possible deal for Scotland’s farmers in the CAP reform package.

This was the message from Rural Affairs CabSec Richard Lochhead, who this week outlined the wishlist he would pursue in the last push to agree a reform deal by the end of June.
Addressing a CAP modelling conference in Edinburgh, on Wednesday, Mr Lochhead stressed: “The negotiations aren’t over – we still have the opportunity to fight for Scotland’s remaining demands.
“Like a level playing field on coupled payments – we want to see 15% for all member states, not just for some. Like ensuring that the national reserve rules will help new entrants of all ages, not just those under 40. . .

The Mysterious Mr Black: A farm story (bit of a true story bit of a yarn) – Mad Bush Farm:

When you’re just a kid of five or six years old, things are always larger than life. It took bravery to venture into the old chicken houses on the farm next door. They made for a ramshackle collection of buildings, slightly on a lean, with rusted corrugated iron,  the timbers full of dry rot. Inside the groaning slowly collapsing sheds, were the old nesting boxes, some with eggs still in place, the hens that had laid them long since vanished. I vaguely recall the flocks of White Leghorn hens out in the paddocks foraging away for their feed of grubs and insects between the blades of long rich dairy grass, where once cows had grazed. They had long since gone as well and the walk through milking shed had been abandoned to the elements.

All kids like to venture into places they’re not supposed to go into. That’s the fun of it, doing something you’re not supposed to do, and go looking where you shouldn’t. . .

Pregnant sheep survives 11 days under snow at Scottish farm:

A pregnant sheep who survived 11 days buried under snow at a farm in south west Scotland is on the road to recovery.

The animal is already walking around and eating after its ordeal and was one of only four sheep that managed to survive.

It has even gained some notoriety for managing to stay alive, with thousands of Facebook users ‘liking’ a post that brought news of its amazing feat.

Young farmer Stuart Mactier spoke of his excitement at finding the ewe alive. . .

From The Farmacy:

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Bonding works well for rural vets

April 21, 2013

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has welcomed 30 new vets onto the 2013 intake of the Rural Veterinary Bonding Scheme.

“The scheme is now in its fifth year and is making real headway in tackling the rural vet shortage,” says Mr Guy. . . 

“The scheme is a solid incentive, helping to make rural practices more attractive to junior vets who might otherwise end up in city clinics or heading overseas. . .

The Veterinary Association says  the scheme is working well.

The rural veterinary bonding scheme for Massey graduates is fully subscribed with 102 veterinary graduates working in rural veterinary practices around New Zealand according to official figures released today.

“Even better, 96% of those entering the scheme from the time it commenced in have stayed in it,” Gavin Sinclair, president of the NZVA said.

“While it is still early days, and there still seem to be some stubborn (hard to recruit) rural regions, this result is encouraging. The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) lobbied hard for the introduction of the scheme at a time when there were gaps appearing in the thin green line that is the veterinary rural workforce in New Zealand.

“The first tranche of graduates received their first payment of $33,000 before tax ($11,000 per year) just prior to Christmas. At that point, four had left the scheme, and ten had moved to other rural practices. This is just what we wanted; young veterinarians settling into rural practice and hopefully remaining there. They are sorely needed,” Dr Sinclair said.

Government has significant responsibilities for food safety, animal welfare, and biosecurity and it relies on the thin green line of veterinarians to monitor livestock to ensure these responsibilities are met.  The risks arising from late recognition of an exotic disease outbreak, food safety concerns, and animal welfare disasters, on our international markets are serious. Veterinary involvement in managing all these risks has been recognised in part by government support of the scheme.

For farmers, it also means a viable, sustainable, cost effective and responsive rural veterinary workforce for the ongoing day-to-day, 24/7 demands of both routine and emergency clinical services.

“A rural veterinary practice faces many risks and challenges, not the least being able to sustain the 24/7 on call requirement.  These practices have a high workload and a surprisingly low level of remuneration which can make the work unattractive to young graduates,” Dr Gavin Sinclair explained.

National introduced bonding for graduates in human and animal health professions who were prepared to work in hard to staff rural areas soon after coming into government.

It’s one of the best ways of student support. It keeps graduates in sought-after disciplines in New Zealand, directs them where they’re most needed and provides them with a financial incentive for going there.

He commented there are also demographic trends, most notably the increasing numbers of female graduates (85% of new graduates from Massey are female) who are wanting flexible working arrangements, often part time over time, and increasingly in companion animal (pet) practices in urban areas. . .

That demographic trend isn’t confined to vet practices.

As more women combine work with raising families the demand for flexible working arrangements increases.


What will they be doing?

April 21, 2013

Question of the day:

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Apropos of which is the quote of the day:

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Power prices

April 21, 2013

I was the National Party’s electorate chair when Max Bradford introduced the power reforms.

It wasn’t an easy time to be a volunteer in the party – people inside and outside opposed the changes.

More than a decade later many still regard them as a mistake and blame them for steep increases in the price of power.

But as this graph from Kiwiblog shows, that is wrong.

Electricity-Prices-1982-2012

Labour are saying that it was the Bradford reforms that led to increased prices. in fact the four years after the reforms saw the smallest increases in 25 years.

Also worth noting that of the increases in the last four years, two of them were due to external factors – the GST increase (which had compensating tax cuts) and the introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

A variety of factors impact on the price of power.

The most obvious one this graph shows is Labour governments and the LabourGreen plan to nationalise wholesale power could well make that worse.


South Island fully settled

April 21, 2013

The Deed of Settlement signed by the Crown and for all outstanding historical Treaty of Waitangi claims with Ngāti Tama ki Te Tau Ihu yesterday was especially significant.

Treaty  Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said it marks the final deed of settlement for historical claims in the South Island.

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“This government is committed to resolving all historical Treaty grievances, and so it is a monumental occasion as we sign the last outstanding deed of settlement for historical claims in the South Island,” Mr Finlayson said.

This is the 62nd deed of settlement signed by the Crown since 1990. It is the 36th to have been signed since November 2008.

“ This government is committed to just and durable settlements of these grievances in a timely fashion,” he said. “We have increased the rate at which settlements are being reached, so that full and final resolution of these issues is accomplished sooner for the benefit of Māori and all New Zealanders.”

“Around 60 groups are now actively engaged with the Crown in various stages of ratification, negotiation, or pre-negotiation towards that goal,” Mr Finlayson said.

“Over the past four years the completion of all historical settlements has gone from being a vanishing point constantly beyond the horizon, to being recognized as an achievable goal that is now well advanced,” Mr Finlayson said.

National has finalised nearly twice as many settlements in four years as Labour managed in nine.

That must be helpful in focussing claimants on a successful resolution.

“Moreover, claimant groups are seeing the benefits of settlement earlier, as Parliament has helped the passage of Treaty bills in recent years through extended sitting hours for non-controversial legislation.”

The deed of settlement signed between South Island iwi Ngāi Tahu and the Crown was one of the first major modern Treaty settlements.

Ngāi Tahu has since grown its assets from $170 million to equity of $587 million (and total assets of $748 million), and is an integral part of the economy in Christchurch, Kaikōura and other parts of its rohe, through investments including property, tourism, and fisheries.

“Treaty settlements provide an economic boost for the regions,” Mr Finlayson said. “Local iwi are committed to their areas, and settlements help them create opportunities for development and long term growth. They are good for New Zealand.”

The unemployment rate in the South Island is about half that of the North.

Careful management of its assets by Ngai Tahu has enabled it to be  a significant employer.

We’re all better off because of the settlements, not least because it changes the focus of claimants from grievance to growth.

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Sunday soapbox

April 21, 2013

Sunday’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.

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April 21 in history

April 21, 2013

753 BC – Romulus and Remus founded Rome (traditional date).

43 BC Battle of Mutina: Mark Antony was again defeated in battle by Aulus Hirtius, who was killed.

1509  Henry VIII ascended the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.

1519 Hernán Cortés landed in Veracruz.

1651 Blessed Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Ceylon, was born.

1671 John Law, Scottish economist, was born  (d. 1729) .

1729 Catherine II of Russia, known as ‘Catherine the Great’, was born  (d. 1796) .

1792 Tiradentes, a revolutionary leading a movement for Brazil’s independence, was hung, drawn and quartered.

1809 Two Austrian army corps were driven from Landshut by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France as two French corps to the north held off the main Austrian army on the first day of the Battle of Eckmühl.

1816  Charlotte Brontë, English author, was born  (d. 1855) .

1836 Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto – Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeated troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1838 John Muir, Scottish environmentalist, was born (d. 1914) .

1863 Bahá’u’lláh, considered the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, declared his mission as “He whom God shall make manifest“.

1894 Norway formally adopted the Krag-Jørgensen rifle as the main arm of its armed forces, a weapon that would remain in service for almost 50 years.

1898 Spanish-American War: The U.S. Congress, recognised that a state of war existed between the United States and Spain.

1915 Anthony Quinn, Mexican-born American actor, was born (2001) .

1918 World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron”, was shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme.

1922 The first Aggie Muster was held as a remembrance for fellow Aggies who had died in the previous year.

1923 John Mortimer, English barrister and writer, was born (d. 2009) .

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1926  Queen Elizabeth II was born.

1942 World War II: The most famous (and first international) Aggie Muster was held on the Philippine island of Corregidor, by Brigadier General George F. Moore (with 25 fellow Aggies who are under his command), while 1.8 million pounds of shells pounded the island over a 5 hour attack.

1952 Secretarys’ Day (now Administrative Professionals’ Day) was first celebrated.

1959 Robert Smith, British musician (The Cure), was born.

1960 Brasília, Brazil’s capital, was officially inaugurated. At 9:30 am the Three Powers of the Republic were simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.

1960 – Founding of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith in Washington, D.C.

1961 The first Golden Shears contest was held – won by Ivan Bowen.

First Golden Shears competition

1962 The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opened – the first World’s Fair in the United States since World War II.

1963 The Universal House of Justice of the Bahá’í Faith was elected for the first time.

1964 A Transit-5bn satellite failed to reach orbit after launch; as it re-entered the atmosphere, 2.1 pounds of radioactive plutonium in its SNAP RTG power source was widely dispersed.

1965 The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair opened for its second and final season.

1966  Rastafari movement: Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visited Jamaica, an event now celebrated as Grounation Day.

19967 – New Zealander Dave McKenzie  won the Boston Marathon in a course record time of 2:15:45.

Dave McKenzie wins the Boston Marathon

1967  A few days before the general election in Greece, Colonel George Papadopoulos led a coup d’état, establishing a military regime that lasted for seven years.

1970 The Hutt River Province Principality seceded from Australia.

1975  Vietnam War: President of South Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu fled Saigon, as Xuan Loc, the last South Vietnamese outpost blocking a direct North Vietnamese assault on Saigon, fell.

1987 Tamil Tigers were blamed for a car bomb that exploded in Colombo, killing 106 people.

1989 – Tiananmen Square Protests: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.

1993 – The Supreme Court in La Paz, Bolivia, sentenced former dictator Luis Garcia Meza to 30 years in jail without parole for murder, theft, fraud and violating the constitution.

1994 – The first discoveries of extrasolar planets were announced by astronomer Alexander Wolszczan.

2004 – Five suicide car bombers targeted police stations in and around Basra, killing 74 people and wounding 160.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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