Word of the day

May 14, 2013

Nisus – an effort or endeavour to realise an aim; a mental or physical effort to attain an end; a striving toward a particular goal or attainment.


Going graciously

May 14, 2013

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for the gracious way in which you expressed yourself in your personal statement to parliament today.

The opposition and media who were hoping for fireworks would have been disappointed.

I am sure party members, both the volunteers and MPs, would have appreciated it.

You aren’t the only one who has learned from this experience and that is the silver lining to what has been a very cloudy couple of weeks.

I hope you find work that makes use of your undoubted skills and that the path you take from now leads to both happiness and success.

Yours sincerely

Ele


Rural round-up

May 14, 2013

Bee decline worries unjustified says honey producer:

A New Zealand honey producer and exporter says there’s too much unjustified doom and gloom about the health of the world’s bees.

Reports of wide-spread bee losses and colony collapses in Europe, Asia and North America have raised the alarm about the survival of honey bees.

The European Union has recently banned a group of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides.

However, Airborne Honey managing director Peter Bray says global honey statistics show bees are actually doing well.

He says world honey figures show beehive numbers and honey production per hive are up, and world trade is increasing. . .

Taranaki recognised for riparian management:

Taranaki’s flagship riparian management programme, which has “gone the extra mile” in developing relationships with dairy farmers, has been recognised for its outstanding contribution to protecting the environment.

 The Taranaki Regional Council programme is a finalist in two categories of the Ministry for the Environment’s 2013 Green Ribbon Awards: the Caring for Our Water and Public Sector Leadership categories.

Environment Minister Amy Adams announced the finalists in 11 award categories last week. . .

Crusoe wheat variety set to make dough for break makers – David Jones:

When Robinson Crusoe was cast away on his tropical island he would have probably found good use for the breadmaking wheat that is his namesake, to aid his survival until rescue.

The promising eponymous milling variety, named after Daniel Defoe’s hero, could now be delighting growers and breadmakers alike and be the future foundation of the British loaf.

From deserted isle to Kent’s sparsely populated Romney Marsh, one bread wheat grower is planning for the variety to take a big slice of his farm this autumn. . .

Fonterra Tankers Get a School Milk Makeover:

Fonterra Tanker Drivers Mike Courtney, Ian McKavanagh and Jess Drewet with one of the new Fonterra Milk for Schools tankers.

From this week, Fonterra drivers will be hitting the roads in 14 brand new Fonterra Milk for Schools themed tankers.

Fonterra Tanker Driver, Jess Drewet, says the team is excited to get behind the new wheels.

“Not only are these completely new vehicles, they are displaying something of which our team is really proud. When you drive as much as we do, you get quite attached to your tanker, and the team can’t wait to get out on the roads and show the new ones off,” says Mr Drewet. . .

Agriculture extravaganza in Fielding:

Feilding’s Manfeild Park has become a sort of one stop shop for beef and sheep farmers this week.

Three farmer events that have been running for years in Manawatu are being rolled into a single four-day extravaganza.

The Aginnovation programme began on Saturday with Future Beef New Zealand, an event designed to encourage young people into the beef industry. . .

Argentine farmers expected to plant more wheat this coming season

Argentina will plant more wheat this season than last year because of farmer-friendly adjustments to the government’s export policy and the bad luck that growers had last season with alternative crops such as barley, a key grain exchange said.

At a time of rising world food demand, the grain-exporting powerhouse can expect 3.9 million hectares to be sown with wheat in the 2013/14 season, up from 3.6 million planted in 2012/13, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said in its first wheat area estimate of the year. Planting starts next month.

“Our survey of growers shows a clear improvement in terms of intention to sow wheat,” the exchange said in a statement. “This improvement is due primarily to the poor experience that growers had with alternative crops (mostly barley) last season.” . . .

The Frankenchicken kerfuffle – Moon over Martinborough:

“I want us to raise chickens for meat,” CJ said. “Like proper farmers.”

“Seriously?” I said. “When you wanted to breed pigs for meat you fell in love with the pigs and ended up screaming, ‘I will never eat their babies!’ Remember?”

 “That was different. That was pigs.”

It turns out CJ had already arranged to pick up five meat birds from our friend Claudia. He was trading them for our olive oil. . .


Capitalism vs Socialism

May 14, 2013

This could also be used as evidence that economic freedom is more important than oil which would confound red greens who want more regulation but less oil.

Hat tip: Capitalism


NZ nurse awarded Florence Nightingale Medal

May 14, 2013

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has awarded New Zealand nurse  Janet Askew the highest international distinction a nurse can receive.

The Florence Nightingale Medal honours exceptional courage and devotion to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.

The medal also recognizes exemplary services and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health and nursing education.

“Janet has extensive international nursing experience. Her first mission with New Zealand Red Cross was in 2003 when she went to Sudan (Juba) as a Health aid worker,” says New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Andrew McKie.

“Janet has exemplified the personal qualities of courage and bravery many times during her career. The Florence Nightingale Award recognises her outstanding commitment and devotion to duty,” he says.

This year 32 aid workers throughout the world will receive the Florence Nightingale Medal. It is the 44th award of the medal. Janet Askew is only the 26th New Zealander to receive the award.

Janet will deploy to Lebanon next month on her sixth Red Cross mission.


Young Country a winner

May 14, 2013

Young Country won the Best Trade or Professional magazine category at the Canon Media Awards.

As a relative newcomer to the subscription magazine shelves, Young Country has been taken to heart by subscribers all over the country since its launch in 2009 says editor Jackie Harrigan.

“Young people around the country are enjoying reading the magazine and now recognition of the magazine’s place amongst top trade or professional magazines is a fantastic result.”

Published by NZX Agri in Feilding, the magazine is currently transitioning to a monthly print/digital format from six print issues per year and is aimed at young people involved in agriculture and the primary industries.

“We aim to tell inspiring stories about young people building fantastic careers and businesses and revelling in the opportunities a country lifestyle offers,” Harrigan said. . .

It might be aimed at young people but it also appeals to older readers.

We subscribe to the magazine which is well read and enjoyed by our staff who range in age from early 20s to 83.

The full list of winners in the Media Awards is here.


Local regulation improvements needed

May 14, 2013

A report into local government by the New Zealand Productivity Commission says regulations need improvements.

In releasing the inquiry report, Commission Chair Murray Sherwin said, “Local councils have a big influence on the success of communities and local economies. A large and diverse set of regulations is managed by councils. They cover things like urban development, building safety and standards for air quality, right through to dog control and food safety. It is critical to community wellbeing, and New Zealand’s overall performance, that these local regulatory systems perform well.

“Most of the regulation undertaken by councils has its origins in legislation passed by Government. Having central and local government jointly thinking about what regulation is necessary, to what purpose and how best it can be implemented, enforced and monitored is critical for getting good results. This inquiry shows that we are well short of that ideal.

“At the council level, there is a need for greater attention to quality management processes to lessen the inconsistency in regulatory decisions that we see between different councils and even within individual councils. That would reduce much of the frustration reported by businesses in their interaction with councils.

“Our work has resulted in 29 recommendations for improvements in how regulation is designed, implemented, evaluated and governed. Both councils and Government need to lift their game on regulation, and work together more effectively to produce better outcomes for the community.

“Amongst the Commission’s recommendations for improving regulation are:
•                    a tool for helping to decide what regulations, and which parts of implementing regulation, are best performed by Government or councils;
•                    use of standardised formats and increased transparency to better demonstrate how key council regulatory decisions have been made;
•                    more focus by government departments, when preparing new regulation intended to be implemented by councils, on the costs and benefits of the proposed regulation, where those costs and benefits will fall, whether or not councils have the capability and capacity required to effectively implement the new regulation, and the likely costs of building that capability and capacity where it does not exist;
•                    the development of a ‘Partners in Regulation’ protocol to better guide Government/council engagement;
•                    the development of new or enhanced joint Government/council forums for overseeing improvements; and
•                    greater use of risk-based approaches to monitoring and enforcement of regulation by councils, together with enabling greater use of infringement notices to support regulations in place of more costly formal prosecutions.

“The Productivity Commission has taken a ‘whole of system’ approach to its review of council regulation. What is clear is that improvements will require both central and local government to be well connected to achieve improvements.”

The public service is more efficient and productive than it was before National came to power.

Local government has in general done little to improve its efficiency and productivity.

A review of regulations and how they are managed is a good place to start.

 


Will we pay for this petition too?

May 14, 2013

The Green Party is launching a petition opposing the Sky City convention centre deal.

Will we be paying for it as we did for the one seeking a referendum on asset sales?


Self praise

May 14, 2013

“Grandma always said that self-praise is no praise,” he said.

“When I asked her what she meant, she said if you have to tell people how good you are then you aren’t.”


May 14 in history

May 14, 2013

1264  Battle of Lewes: Henry III was captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.

1483  Coronation of Charles VIII of France (Charles l’Affable).

1509 Battle of Agnadello: French forces defeated the Venetians.

1608  The Protestant Union was founded in Auhausen.

1610 Henry IV of France was assassinated bringing Louis XIII to the throne.

1643  Four-year-old Louis XIV became King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1727 Thomas Gainsborough, English artist ,was born (d. 1788).

1747  A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeated the French at first battle of Cape Finisterre.

1796  Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccination.

1804 The Lewis and Clark Expedition departed from Camp Dubois and began its journey by traveling up the Missouri River.

1811 Paraguay gained independence from Spain.

1836 The Treaties of Velasco were signed.

1861 The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite type meteorite, struck  the earth near Barcelona.

1863 American Civil War: The Battle of Jackson.

1866 – The General Grant, sailing from Melbourne to London, hit cliffs on the west coast of the main island in the subantarctic Auckland  Islands.

Wreck of the <em>General Grant</em>

1868 Japanese Boshin War: end of the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle.

1870 The first game of rugby in New Zealand was played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.

1879  The first group of 463 Indian indentured labourers arrives in Fiji aboard the  Leonidas.

1889  The children’s charity the NSPCC was launched in London.

1907 The Plunket Society was formed.

Plunket Society formed

1913   New York Governor William Sulzer approved the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which began operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1925  Virginia Woolf‘s novel Mrs Dalloway was published.

1926 Eric Morecambe, British comedian, was born  (d. 1984).

1927 Cap Arcona was launched at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg.

1929 Barbara Branden, Canadian writer and lecturer, was born.

1929 – Wilfred Rhodes took his 4000th first-class wicket during a performance of 9 for 39 at Leyton.

1931  Ådalen shootings: five people were killed in Ådalen, Sweden, as soldiers open fired on an unarmed trade union demonstration.

1935 The Philippines ratified an independence agreement.

1939 Lina Medina became  the world’s youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.

1940 ‘H’.  (Herbert) Jones, British Soldier (VC recipient), was born (d. 1982).

1940  World War II: Rotterdam was bombed by the German Luftwaffe.

1940  World War II: The Netherlands surrendered to Germany.

1940  The Yermolayev Yer-2, a long-range Soviet medium bomber, has its first flight.

1941 – The minesweeper HMS Puriri was the second victim of mines laid off the Northland coast by the German raider Orion.

NZ minesweeper sunk off Bream Head
1943  A Japanese submarine sank  AHS Centaur off the coast of Queensland.

1948  Israel was declared to be an independent state and a provisional government established.

1955 Cold War: Eight communist bloc countries signed a mutual defense treaty -the Warsaw Pact.

1961  American civil rights movement: The Freedom Riders bus was fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protesters were beaten by an angry mob.

1966 Fabrice Morvan, French music artist (Milli Vanilli), was born.

1970  The Red Army Faction was established in Germany.

1973 Human Space Flight: Skylab, the United States’ first space station was launched.

1975 Carlos Spencer, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Carlos Spencer.jpg

1986 Pride of Baltimore was lost at sea.

1988 Carrollton bus collision: a drunk driver travelling the wrong way hit a converted school bus carrying a church youth group killing  27.

2004 The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturned the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.

2005  The former USS America, a decommissioned supercarrier was deliberately sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after four weeks of live-fire exercises.

2012 – Agni Air Flight CHT crashed near Jomsom Airport in Jomsom, Nepal, after a failed go-around, killing 15 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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