Word of the day

May 22, 2013

Fripper – old clothing;  a dealer in frippery or used clothes; a fripperer.


Rural round-up

May 22, 2013

Farmers will have to change regardless – Hugh Stringleman:

Sustainability is an economic issue, not just an environmental one, and dairy farmers are going to have to change, willingly or unwillingly.

That advice is being given Paul Gilding, veteran Australian environmentalist and former head of Greenpeace, to meetings of New Zealand dairy farmers called by Fonterra Shareholders Council.

The Grow Your Mind series was conducted throughout dairying regions last week, not without protest from dairy farmers annoyed at a Greenpeace activist being given a platform by Fonterra, council chairman Ian Brown said. . .

Lincoln develops farm output:

Lincoln University has formed a new Farms Committee to oversee the development of the 3900ha of farmland owned and operated by the university.

Assistant vice-chancellor Stefanie Rixecker says the new committee will deliver improved outcomes from the university’s portfolio of farms and farming partnerships, as well as expanding the portfolio in the future.

“The Farms Committee has been established to help Lincoln University make the most of its farms for better student experience, for more and better scientific research on productivity and the environment and, perhaps most importantly of all, for an enhanced interface between the university and New Zealand’s farmers,” says Dr Rixecker. . .

Supplier gets standing ovation:

Feeding the supply chain with 2450 lambs in the 2011-2012 season helped Rimrock Hills on the Taihape – Napier Road become Supplier of the Year for Ovation New Zealand.

Ovation’s commercial manager Patrick Maher said, “Their selection was based on them achieving a score of 88.5 per cent mark for supplying on time and to market specification (this made up 50 per cent of the total score). 

“Further marks were achieved for volume of stock supplied and length/loyalty of supply. This gave them a total score of 89.25/100 – a fantastic result,” Patrick said. . .

More Staff to Strengthen Border Biosecurity:

Twelve new frontline border staff will help ensure New Zealand’s biosecurity defences stay strong, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The new staff will receive their quarantine inspector warrants at a ceremony today in Christchurch.

The graduation follows the warranting of 43 new inspectors in December and a recent announcement by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy that MPI will recruit 30 new quarantine inspectors this year.

“The new inspectors and upcoming recruitment programme will ensure that the biosecurity frontline remains fully staffed and isn’t affected by normal resignations and retirement,” says Steve Gilbert, MPI Director, Border Clearance Services. . .

Wonderful journey just the beginning – Hugh Stringleman:

The 2013 ANZ Bank Young Farmer Grand Final followed the form book, with winner Tim van de Molen, from Waikato-Bay of Plenty, and second-placed Cam Brown, from Taranaki-Manawatu, being previous grand finalists in a contest where experience and endurance mean a great deal. Hugh Stringleman puts van de Molen’s win in context.

This year’s Young Farmer Contest champion Tim van de Molen was back at work the Monday after his competitive ordeal and triumph, as an agri-manager for ANZ Bank in Waikato.

With June 1 settlement date looming for many of his dairy farming clients, he needed to be back on deck for their rural banking requirements. . .

Rockburn Wines Win Gold Medal in the World’s Biggest Global Wine Competition Decanter World Wine Awards:

Rockburn Wines has been awarded a Gold medal in the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards for their 2011 – and was the only Central Otago producer to be awarded a Gold Medal in the competition.
Rockburn Pinot Noir, a wine already noted for its trophy success at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards last year.

The Central Otago winery has a history of winning gold medals, particularly for its Pinot Noir, at such competitions as the Air New Zealand Awards, the Sydney International Wine Competition and the International Wine and Spirit Competition and was most recently awarded Champion Open Red Wine for the Rockburn Pinot Noir 2011 at the 2012 Air New Zealand Wine Awards. . .


‘Bloody Friday’ reunion

May 22, 2013

The 35th anniversary of ‘Bloody Friday’ when farmers killed sheep in Invercargill will be celebrated on June 8th.

In what must be the most unusual demonstration New Zealand has witnessed, about 300 farmers released 1300-1400 starving old ewes into Dee Street on Friday, June 9, 1978, a day now known as “Bloody Friday”. They drove them through the city to an out-of-the-way section in Victoria Ave and there, they slaughtered them humanely. The carcasses were taken to the abattoirs at West Plains and rendered down for fertiliser.

Repercussions from this day resonated into the following year and longer; particularly those directed at the two leaders of the demonstration – Syd Slee and Owen Buckingham, farmers from Blackmount and Te Anau respectively.

The purpose of the protest was to draw the country’s attention to Southland farmers’ total frustration over the state of their old sheep starving to death at a rate of 1000 a day because of industrial chaos across the meat industry, exacerbated by the effects of the worst drought experienced in many parts of the province since 1956.

During the first half of 1978 there were only nine days on which all four of the Southland freezing works were operating at the same time. In total, there had been 116 recorded stoppages in the first five months of 1978 resulting in Southland’s kill being about 700,000 behind that of the previous season, with one million head of stock still waiting to be killed and the season due to finish.

The loss of wages to the freezing workers through these stoppages was estimated as being between two and a half to three million dollars and the loss to the community and the export trade was inestimable. Among the significant costs was the time and cartage taking stock back to the farms because there was no killing on that particular day. . .

Southland wasn’t the only place which suffered from frequent strikes by freezing workers.

My father was a carpenter at the works at Pukeuri. Maintenance staff didn’t have to stop work but killing was often held up while freezing workers struck.

There was little irrigation in North Otago then and it wasn’t just financial losses but stock health which was compromised by repeated strikes.

. . .In preparation for the reunion, the original account of the protest Bloody Friday: An account of the Southland Farmer’s Protest (published in 1979) has been revised significantly by June Slee, the author of the original book. The new edition, Bloody Friday Revisited: Recollections of the 1978 Southland Farmers’ Protest includes memories of the day and its protracted aftermath, gathered from farmers who took part in the protest as well as others who witnessed it from the streets. . .

The meat industry is facing challenging times today, but at least farmers and freezing companies don’t have to worry about industrial relations as they did a few decades ago.

You can follow the link above for more details on the reunion and book.


A tale of two countries

May 22, 2013

Is Australia still the lucky country? When it comes to Budgets, Luke Malpass says it’s not.

In 2008, Australia had a mining boom, rising wages and no debt. Its government had delivered consistent surpluses, tax cuts and targeted cash payments to targeted voter groups. Growth was assumed and household wealth doubled during the Howard years. It even avoided recession.

In contrast, New Zealand was lurching into debt, had a collapsed non- bank finance sector, a tradeables sector that had been squeezed for several years, a real recession in advance of the global recession, and a structural deficit. . .

But last week, our Finance Minister Bill English announced New Zealand is on track back to surplus while Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan  announced an A$19.4 billion deficit, with several years of deficits to follow.

Budgets are ultimately about choices. The Australian Government chose to run it close to the wind, increasing spending by as much as the most optimistic revenue forecasts would allow.

New Zealand made a very different and far more difficult set of choices. In 2008 the issues were obvious: productivity growth was poor, taxes too high – particularly at a relatively modest level of income – and the tax system had little internal integrity.

Government was chomping its way through far too much of the national pie, crowding out private sector activity.

One important thing the New Zealand Government has done is tamp down expectations of spending increases, concentrating on core activities and not using government as a vehicle to give handouts to partisan coalitions of voter groups. As part of this strategy, the Government is reducing both its spending and revenue to GDP ratios. It has reaffirmed its commitment to getting core government spending down from 35 per cent of GDP in 2008-09 to 31 per cent in 2014-15. The rate of spending increase has slowed to less than CPI and population growth. . .

This hasn’t just been an economic success, it’s been a political one.

The government has managed to reduce costs while maintaining services and has managed to convince most people of the necessity for doing that.

. . . New Zealand’s books look in better shape than Australia’s, not least because of New Zealand’s public accounting system. It is more difficult to fudge the figures and render the accounts opaque than is the case in Australia, where payments can be brought forward and/or shifted backwards to create fiscal illusion in any given year.

We have Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson and the ‘failed’ policies of the 80s and 90s to thank for that.

New Zealand’s Budget is commendable and, compared with Australia’s, it looks extremely positive. In the long run, nations can only excel and grow living standards by being competitive and living within their means. The current situation in Europe attests to that.

With all the advantages in the world, the Aussies have not managed it, and face some very difficult decisions in coming years. In contrast, from a pretty poor position New Zealand is getting its fiscal house in order.

And getting its fiscal house is putting New Zealand on a far stronger foundation than many other countries.


Is the baby a political pawn?

May 22, 2013

Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta wants more baby-friendly rules for parliament after complaining she had to take her baby into the House during urgency on Friday.

But is it parliament’s problem or Labour’s?

Parties are permitted to have 25% of their MPs absent and Labour could give Mahuta priority. Was there no other MP who could take the late slot on Friday?

The House isn’t unlike a casino with its artificial light and noise. Was there no quieter, darker place for mother and baby than the chamber?

MPs have to be in parliament but they do not have to be in the House. If she had to be in the buildings, why didn’t Mahuta stay in her office with her baby?

Parties can ask for a pair – ie Labour could ask National to take away an MP to cancel out Mahuta’s absence. Did Labour seek a pair?

Ruth Richardson wrote in her autobiography that Labour refused her a pair when she was feeding her baby.

That was about three decades ago.

If Mahuta is using her baby as a political pawn the party hasn’t improved in that time.

Life with a new baby has its challenges under the best of conditions. Trying to balance breastfeeding and full-time work make it even harder.

But the cause of working mothers won’t be advanced by MPs playing silly beggars by deliberately making parenting more difficult for political purposes.


Recipes for looking

May 22, 2013

“What’s for dinner?” he asked.

“I don’t know, I can’t think of anything to cook,” she said.

“Eighty three recipe books and goodness knows how many magazines full of food porn and you can’t think of anything to cook!” he said.

“Trouble is most of them have recipes for looking at not for cooking,” she said.

 

 


May 22 in history

May 22, 2013

334 BC The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.

1176 The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempted to murder Saladin near Aleppo.

1377  Pope Gregory XI issued five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.

1455 Wars of the Roses: at the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeated and captured King Henry VI of England.

1724 Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer  was born (d. 1772).

1762 Sweden and Prussia signed the Treaty of Hamburg.

1807 A grand jury indicted former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.

1807 Most of the English town of Chudleigh was destroyed by fire.

1809 On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon was repelled by an enemy army for the first time.

1813 Richard Wagner, German composer, was born (d. 1883).

1819 The SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

1826  HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage.

1840 The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was abolished.

1842 Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discovered Howe Caverns when they stumbled upon a large hole in the ground.

1843 Thousands of people and their cattle headed west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri to what would later become the Oregon Territory . They were part of the Great Migration.

1844 Persian Prophet The Báb announced his revelation, founding Bábism. He announced to the world the coming of “He whom God shall make manifest”.

1848 Slavery was abolished in Martinique.

1856  Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas“).

1859  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British physician and writer, was born  (d. 1930).

1871  The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny in Nebraska.

1872  Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.

1884  The first representative New Zealand rugby team played its first match, defeating a Wellington XV 9-0.

First NZ Rugby team in action

1897 The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was officially opened.

1903 Launch of the White Star Liner,  SS Ionic.

1906 The 1906 Summer Olympics, not now recognized as part of the official Olympic Games, opened in Athens.

1906  The Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.

1907 Laurence Olivier, English stage and screen actor, was born  (d. 1989).

1915 Lassen Peak eruptsed.

1915 Three trains collided in the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green,, killing 227 people and injuring 246.

1936 Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) was founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.

1936  M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer, was born  (d. 2005).

1939 World War II: Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel.

1942  Mexico entered World War II on the side of the Allies.

1942 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbanded, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, was formed.

1946  George Best, Northern Irish footballer, was born  (d. 2005).

1947  Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Truman Doctrine granting $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.

1958  Sri Lankan riots of 1958: a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.

1950 Bernie Taupin, English songwriter, was born.

1955 Iva Davies, Australian rock star (Icehouse), was born.

1960 An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hit southern Chile – the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.

1962  Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashed after bombs explode on board.

1963  Assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Gregoris Lambrakis.

1964 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.

1967  The L’Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels burned down -the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.

1968 The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sank with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.

1969  Apollo 10‘s lunar module flew within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.

1970 Naomi Campbell, British model and actress, was born.

1972  Ceylon adoptseda new constitution, ecoming a Republic, changed its name to Sri Lanka, and joined the Commonwealth of Nations.

1980  Namco released the arcade game Pac-Man.

1990  Microsoft released the Windows 3.0 operating system.

1992  After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the last time.

1995 – Waikato-Tainui signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown.

1997  Kelly Flinn, US Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.

1998 Lewinsky scandal: a federal judge ruled that United States Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury.

2002 – A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

2003 Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.

2004  Hallam, Nebraska, was wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado (part of the May 2004 tornado outbreak sequence) that broke a width record at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide, and killed one resident.

2008  The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashed 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between 22 May and 31 May 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 US states and one Canadian province.

2011– An EF5 Tornado struck the US city of Joplin, Missouri killing 161 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.

2012 – Tokyo Skytree was opened to public. It is the tallest tower in world (634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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