Gilmore going

12/05/2013

A reporter phoned me this afternoon asking me questions, on or off the record, about Aaron Gilmore.

I replied, truthfully, that I didn’t know the answers.

The call however, proved that the media was still digging.

Whether anything more had been found is probably not relevant because he has announced he’s resigning:

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I announce my intention to resign from Parliament,” Mr Gilmore said in a statement. . .

I think this is the best thing he could have done for his own sake.

It is possible to make mistakes and put them behind you, as other people have done, but the phone call today suggested the media had not yet reached that point and matters may well have got worse.

It is also better for the government, the country and the National Party.

Side shows like this don’t really matter but they do distract from things that do.

 


Word of the day

12/05/2013

Mother – a woman who gives birth or who has the responsibility of physical and emotional care for specific children;  female parent;  woman in authority; the superior of a religious community of women; woman who creates, originates, or founds something; creative source; an origin; woman respected for her wisdom and age; maternal love and tenderness; biggest or most extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale; to bring up a child or children with care and affection.


Tweet of the day

12/05/2013
Steven Joyce Steven Joyce@stevenljoyce 28m

Another interesting NZ/Oz employment stat: 78% of Kiwis in employment are full-time v only 70% in Oz. Higher overall employment in NZ now too.


Rural round-up

12/05/2013

Export prices for lambs improving – Alan Williams:

Export market prices for lamb are improving but an early return to a $100 lamb is a question of all the planets aligning, Alliance Group general manager of marketing Murray Brown says.

“You’d be wanting a bit of exchange rate improving as well, but it’s not out of line,’’ Brown said.

If it happened, a big reduction in lamb numbers next season would be one reason, he said.

The signs were positive for the winter market and heading into next Christmas but some caution was still needed in forecasting prices. . .

Farmers may be able to invest in water storage project:

Central Hawke’s Bay farmers who tap into the proposed Ruataniwha water storage scheme may get the opportunity to invest in it too.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is asking the Government to recognise the scheme as a project of national significance.

The council and its investment company have made applications to the Environmental Protection Authority seeking resource consents and a regional plan change required for the project, which would supply water to about 25,000 hectares of land from a dam on a tributary of the Tukituki River. . .

Dairy Farms staff and the shocking state of employee turnover – Milking on the Moove:

Well, gidday. Glen Herud here again and I am going to carry on talking about dairy farm staff. Last time I said that only a small percentage of New Zealand population are prepared to work on a dairy farm simply because of the long hours involved.

Today I want to talk about a report that was released by Dairy NZ in 2009 I think, called “Farming Smarter Not Harder.” They had some interesting figures.

  • They said that 50% of staff had been in their current job less than one year.  
  • The average length of service, so that’s the average time people stay with an employer was less than one year. 
  • 1/3 of dairy staff leave the industry every year. . .

Early start for lambing – Jill Galloway:

There are about 50 early lambs gambolling around a Kiwitea farm in Manawatu.

They are cute now, but they’ll be gracing dinner plates in Britain for Christmas, owners Jill Martin and Nigel Lintott say.

They had planned to have early lambs at two of their three properties.

“This breed are Dorset ewes, so they can have early lambs,” Lintott said.

$11m for Wagyu project – Marie Taylor:

The government has stumped up with $11 million for a project to produce high-value, marbled beef for premium markets in New Zealand and offshore.

What will the country get for its money and what does the project mean?

Hastings-based Firstlight Foods managing director Gerard Hickey is a key part of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) project.

The seven-year PGP is worth $23.7 million and Hickey describes it as an investment to create a new category of NZ beef. . .

Fight to be the top dog – Ian Allen:

New South Island sheep dog champion Steve Kerr plans to celebrate this week’s success by getting his dog a bitch on the way home.

Mr Kerr, of Fairlie, said he was stopping near Christchurch to breed his winning huntaway, Dodge.

Mr Kerr and Dodge took out the straight huntaway title at the South Island Championships in Blenheim yesterday.

After four days of competition, only .25 points separated Mr Kerr and runner up Kerry Kilmister, of Tinui, and his dog Pulse.

Mr Kerr said it had been a hard week and it was time to celebrate.

The top of the hill got a little bit tricky but Dodge did a great job, he said. . .

 

 


7/10

12/05/2013

7/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


Imagine

12/05/2013

Another Mothers’ Day thought from  Story People by Brian Andreas:

Open large picture


No regrets

12/05/2013

Open large picture

From Story People by Brian Andreas.


6/10

12/05/2013

6/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


Better border protection

12/05/2013

The distance from our neighbours and the sea provide New Zealand with some level of protection against biosecurity incursions.

However, there is still a risk of accidental or deliberate import of pests or diseases which could threaten our primary industries.

That make border security very important and the government’s recognition of this is shown by  the recruitment of 30 new quarantine inspectors and new detector dog pups.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy visited the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Detector Dog Breeding Centre in Auckland and met four beagle puppies that will be trained to guard New Zealand’s airports to stop unwanted pests and diseases entering the country.

“The four puppies have overcome a tragic start to life. Their mum, Utah, was found to have leukaemia soon after the births and had to be put down,” says Mr Guy.

Mr Guy chose the name ‘Clara’ for one of the new puppies.

“I’m looking forward to following Clara’s progress as she helps to guard our border.”

“As well as recruiting canines, the Ministry is about to start recruiting 30 new quarantine inspectors to work on the frontline of our biosecurity system. This is in addition to the 56 extra frontline staff recruited over the last six months,” says Mr Guy.

Of the 30 new staff, six will start work in Christchurch, four in Wellington, two in Queenstown and 18 in Auckland. They will begin in mid-August after extensive training.

“Numbers of frontline staff are directly related to the volume of people and goods crossing the border. As New Zealand’s economy continues to grow the numbers of border staff are also likely to increase.

“The primary industries are the powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy and protecting them from biosecurity threats is my number one priority. We have a world class system, but we are always looking for ways to improve it even further,” says Mr Guy.

Increasing the number of staff and dogs at the border is one of a number of recent biosecurity initiatives including:

  • The Joint Border Management System to improve how our border agencies work together.
  • Implementing the Biosecurity Law Reform Bill which passed last year, including Government-Industry Agreements to boost our readiness and response.
  • Trans-Tasman Action Plan on Foot and Mouth Disease Preparedness with Australia.

 

 

Nathan Guy meets Clara


Overseas loan defaulters owe us all

12/05/2013

The gap between the repayment rates of New Zealand-based borrowers and overseas-based borrowers continues to grow, despite overall lifts in the number of people paying off student loans.

Overseas-based borrowers make up 60 per cent of the 84,562 borrowers in default as at March 31 this year, despite comprising only 15 per cent of the borrowing population. They are responsible for 82 per cent of the $520 million currently in default.

“More overseas-based student loan borrowers are paying more off their student loans as a result of the Government’s compliance initiative, but we need a major behavioural change if we are to see the pay-back rate even begin to match what we currently receive from domestic borrowers,” Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

“It is simply not fair for those overseas to get a far easier ride than people who stay in New Zealand, contribute here, and pay off their loan responsibly.”

These people have been educated at our expense and the money the loans they are defaulting on are owed to us all.

“Our initiatives to date to encourage overseas-based borrowers to repay their student loans have collected $64 million since October 2010,” says Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.

“Overall we have collected $812 million from all borrowers (overseas-based and domestic) up until March 2013, which is up over $263.4 million on the same period last year. However some of that is undoubtedly a one-off as a result of people paying more before the end of the repayment bonus programme at the end of March.

“While the default amount owed by New Zealand based borrowers has decreased by 5.9 per cent in the last year, the default amount of overseas based borrowers continues to increase – since March 2012, it has risen by 34.3 per cent.

“While that’s partially the result of shortening the repayment holiday for overseas borrowers, the evidence we had was that the long holiday just masked the overall low level of compliance,” he says.

The outstanding student loan balance is currently $13.5 billion.

Just think of the many good uses that money could be put to if it was paid back.

The Government has been considering further initiatives for overseas-based borrowers and will make announcements regarding the selected initiatives shortly.

“We are determined to lift the rate of overseas-based borrowers repayments to ensure people are meeting their commitments to New Zealand taxpayers, just like the New Zealand-based borrowers are doing,” says Mr Joyce.

Many people who are working overseas will be finding the high dollar erodes the value of the currency they’re earning but that is no excuse for defaulting on a loan.

Interest-free student loans were a very expensive election bribe and the amount owed by overseas defaulters increases the cost to the rest of us.


Sunday soapbox

12/05/2013

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.

You might like to make this a Mothers Day special, though it doesn’t have to be exclusively that.
Well, weren't we surprised when Brian dropped this in our in-box late, late tonight. Looks like the ball's in our court now for getting it out to all of you in time for Mother's Day.</p><br /> <p>(Whoa. That's soooon...)

From Story People by Brian Andreas.


May 12 in history

12/05/2013

1191  Richard I of England married Berengaria of Navarre who was crowned Queen consort of England the same day.

1264 The Battle of Lewes, between King Henry III and the rebel Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, began.

1328 Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, was consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice.

1364  Jagiellonian University, was founded in Kraków.

1551  National University of San Marcos, was founded in Lima.

1588 French Wars of Religion: Henry III fledParis after Henry of Guise enters the city.

1689  King William’s War: William III joined the League of Augsburg starting a war with France.

1743  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned King of Bohemia after defeating her rival, Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor.

1797  First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquered Venice.

1812 Edward Lear, British author and poet was born (d. 1888).

1820 Florence Nightingale, British nurse was born (d. 1910).

1821  The first big battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks occured in Valtetsi.

1828  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, British painter,was born (d. 1882).

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Raymond: two divisions of James B. McPherson‘s XVII Corps (ACW) turned the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton‘s defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.

1864 American Civil War: the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House: thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers died in “the Bloody Angle”.

1865  American Civil War: the Battle of Palmito Ranch: the first day of the last major land action to take place during the Civil War, resulting in a Confederate victory.

1870 The Manitoba Act was given the Royal Assent, paving the way for Manitoba to become a province of Canada on July 15.

1873  Oscar II was crowned King of Sweden.

1881  Tunisia became a French protectorate.

1885 North-West Rebellion: the four-day Battle of Batoche, pitting rebel Métis against the Canadian government, ended with a decisive rebel defeat.

1890  The first-ever official County Championship match begins. Yorkshire beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets at Bristol. George Ulyett scored the first century in the competition.

1907 Katharine Hepburn, American actress, was born (d. 2003).

1910 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, British biochemist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1994).

1924 Tony Hancock, British comedian, was born  (d. 1968).

1926  UK General Strike 1926: In the United Kingdom, a nine-day general strike by ended.

1932  Ten weeks after his abduction, the infant son of Charles Lindbergh was found dead in Hopewell, New Jersey, just a few miles from the Lindberghs’ home.

1937 Susan Hampshire, British actress, was born.

1937 – George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon were crowned King and Queen.

1941 – Konrad Zuse presented the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.

1942 – World War II: Second Battle of Kharkov – in the eastern Ukraine, Red Army forces under Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched a major offensive from the Izium bridgehead.

1942 – Holocaust: 1,500 Jews were sent to gas chambers in Auschwitz.

1945 Ian McLagan, British keyboardist (Small Faces), was born.

1945  Argentinian labour leader José Peter declared the Federación Obrera de la Industria de la Carne dissolved.

1949 – The Soviet Union lifted its blockade of Berlin.

1949 – The western occupying powers approved the Basic Law for the new German state – the Federal Republic of Germany.

1952 Gaj Singh was crowned Maharaja of Jodhpur.

1958 Aformal North American Aerospace Defense Command agreement was signed between the United States and Canada.

1962  Douglas MacArthur delivered his famous “Duty, Honor, Country” valedictory speech at the United States Military Academy.

1965 – The Soviet spacecraft Luna 5 crashes on the Moon.

1967  Pink Floyd staged the first-ever quadraphonic rock concert.

1971 A civic reception for 161 Battery on its return from Vietnam was disrupted by protesters.

Anti-Vietnam War protests in Queen Street

1975 Jonah Lomu, New Zealand rugby union footballer, was born.

Jonah Lomu (cropped).jpg

1975  Mayagüez incident: the Cambodian navy seized the American merchant ship SS Mayaguez in international waters.

1978  In Zaïre, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining center of the province of Shaba.

1981  Francis Hughes starved to death in the Maze Prison in a republican campaign for political status to be granted to Provisional IRA prisoners.

1982 – During a procession outside the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal, security guards overpower edJuan Fernandez Krohn before he  attacked Pope John Paul IIwith a bayonet.

1999 David Steel became the first Presiding Officer (speaker) of the modern Scottish Parliament.

2002  Former US President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.

2003  The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, kill 26.

2003 – Fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers bring the Texas Legislature to a standstill by going into hiding in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan.

2006  Mass unrest by the Primeiro Comando da Capital began in São Paulo, leaving at least 150 dead.

2007  Karachi riots , which killed over 50 people in Karachi and above 100 injured, on the arrival of Chief Justice of Pakistan; Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in Karachi city.

2008 Wenchuan earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) in Sichuan, China, killed more than 69,000 people.

2008 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted the largest-ever raid of workplace and arrests nearly 400 immigrants for identity theft and document fraud.

2010 – An Afriqiyah Airways Flight crashed, killing all but one person on board.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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