Word of the day

May 25, 2013

Filipendulous –  hanging or suspended by or strung upon a thread.


Rural round-up

May 25, 2013

What Fonterra’s CEO tells the Dutch – David Williams:

When he was playing rugby at university, Theo Spierings’ 1.96m frame was an advantage.

The Dutchman probably doesn’t think about it much now, as he leans more towards sailing than rugby, and is kept busy running New Zealand’s biggest company, Fonterra.

But for media, Mr Spierings’ height is crucial: it makes him easy to spy across a room where, literally, he can be (shaved) head and shoulders above the rest. . .

Drought blamed for export drop – James Weir:

The summer drought took a bite out of dairy and meat export volumes in April although higher commodity prices helped the dairy values hold almost steady for the month.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed total exports fell almost 9 per cent in April, compared with March, as meat, logs, timber and oil exports dropped in the month.

While exports were down, imports were also stronger than expected, leading to a much smaller than expected trade surplus of $157m in April.

The trade balance is expected to get worse in coming months because of the lingering effect of the summer drought on dairy and meat exports. . .

Kiwifruit Post Harvest Operators Join Forces in Support of Zespri Structure:

As a group of post harvest operators in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, we represent approximately 76 percent of the total volume of kiwifruit exports.
Whilst we are quite diverse in our ownership structures, as a group we represent the largest capital investment in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, with more than $450 million in investments in orchards, packing facilities and related assets.  At the peak of the kiwifruit season, we employ more than 8,500 people in our post harvest facilities and return approximately $100 million through wages and salaries to the communities in which we operate. . .

Tomatoes New Zealand Encouraged By Minister Kaye’s Move On Irradiated Produce:

Tomatoes New Zealand says the decision not to enforce compulsory individual labelling of irradiated Australian tomatoes and capsicums is disappointing, but the industry organisation believes their concerns have been heard.

In a letter to Tomatoes New Zealand received this week, the Minister for Food Safety Nikki Kaye said she understood Tomatoes New Zealand’s concerns with ensuring irradiated produce was clearly labelled and wanted to work with the organisation to ensure labelling requirements are enforced.

Alasdair MacLeod, Chair of Tomatoes New Zealand, says; “We called for Minister Kaye to put in place tougher labelling requirements for irradiated tomatoes. . .

Cowbassadors take Wellington by storm:

Finalists from the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) are taking central Wellington by storm, fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Wellington. Farmers are on the streets in force ahead of the NZDIA finals tonight under Master of Ceremonies, TV3 News’ Mike McRoberts.

“I guess these cow balloons raise dairying to new heights,” quipped Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“There are dairy farmers in central Wellington right now ahead of tonight’s New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards. Being part of the community, they are selling the balloons and doing other tasks to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Wellington. . .

And from Introverts are Awesome:


Diane Coleman – Enterprising Rural Women award winner

May 25, 2013

The Supreme Winner of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 is Diane Coleman of Treeline Native Nursery, based at Ngongotaha, near Rotorua.

She also won the Love of the Land category.

Treeline Native Nursery, which Diane started 17 years ago, grows and supplies NZ native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes, growing 300,000 plants a year that are sold to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.

Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said Diane Coleman was chosen as the Supreme Winner out of a strong field of contenders, saying she displayed “skill, calm confidence in the progress of her business and a clear awareness of her market.”

“When demand for products slowed with the 2010 economic downturn, Diane adapted to conditions, made some innovative decisions and was able to maintain production levels.

“Added to this, the business is rural-based, employs several rural women and gives back to the community with fund-raising support.”

Other winners on the night were Jan Harper, of Bluespur Butchery in Lawrence, who won the Telecom-sponsored Help! I Need Somebody category.

As one of New Zealand’s first female butchers, Jan, who’s been in the industry since 1977, said it was a ‘dream come true’ when she opened her own business, Bluespur Butchery, in 2009. As well as selling meat to the public, a big part of the business is processing for farmers and hunters.

A very successful exporter of animal by-products from Waipukurau took away the Making it in Rural category, sponsored by Fly Buys Ltd. Angela Payne runs Agri-lab Co-Products Ltd (www.agri-lab.com). Utilising animal parts that previously may have ended up in the offal-pit, the company specialises in placenta, glands, membranes, tendons and glandulars, with 90 percent of the product exported. This is shipped all over the world as raw products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets.

Kylie Stewart of Rangitikei Farmstay was announced as the winner of the Stay, Play, Rural Award, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd. Her 1500 acre farm has been in the family since 1901 and Kylie has breathed new life into many of the old buildings to create attractive accommodation for up to 19 guests at a time who come from all over the world to get a taste of New Zealand rural life with farm tours, horse treks, clay bird shooting and shearing and mustering demonstrations on offer. (www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz).

The judging panel also decided this year to give a special Rural Women NZ Encourgement Award. This went to Lee Lamb, a young farming woman who lives in Waikaia, Southland.

As her children grew, and unable to find New Zealand farm-themed books to read to them, Lee decided to write and illustrate her own. A self-taught writer and painter, Lee was also determined to have her books printed in New Zealand. She now has four titles: On the Farm Shearing, On the Farm Autumn Muster, On the Farm Milking Time and On the Farm Harvest.

In congratulating all the winners, Liz Evans said, “Running a successful business anywhere in today’s competitive economy is not easy. It takes time, commitment, money and a passion to succeed. And, of course, you have to have the initial idea to get started.

“And, in the rural context, the start-up and ability to keep going can produce even more challenges. The logistics of running a business away from a centralised urban area can throw up hurdles such as access to prompt transport and communication – not to mention extra costs of freight and postage. All our winners have jumped those hurdles.” . . .

This is the fifth year RWNZ has run the awards.

They are a wonderful way to showcase rural businesswomen and the variety of enterprises in which they’re involved.


Saturday’s smiles

May 25, 2013

A woman as just about to drive away from a riverside car park when a Fish and Game warden approached.

He noticed fish in a tub in the back of her ute and asked to see her fishing licence.

She said she didn’t need one because the fish were pets and she’d just been taking them for a swim.

The warden looked at her and said, “you’re joking.”

“No,” she said, “I’m not and I”ll prove it. I’ll take the fish down to the river, let them go and call them back.”

The warden looked sceptical but was prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt.”

The woman picked up the tub, took it down to the river and tipped it upside down.

The warden waited a few minutes then said, “When are you going to call the fish back.”

She turned to him with a puzzled look and said, “What fish?”


Leading by example

May 25, 2013

Dunedin City Council chief executive has turned down a 10% pay rise.

Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders has turned down a $35,000-a-year pay rise, saying the increase cannot be justified when the organisation is in savings mode. . .

The decision came after the council’s performance appraisal committee – headed by Mayor Dave Cull – concluded Mr Orders’ $350,000-a-year salary was 10% below that of others in his role. . .

”Mr Orders has advised he would find it very difficult to reconcile a salary increase with the ongoing push for the DCC to identify economies and do more with less,” Mr Cull said.

Mr Orders was recruited from Wales and, since arriving in Dunedin in September 2011, has delivered savings from within the organisation that helped ease the council’s debt burden and reduce rates pressure.

He has taken a strict line on any budget increases, while pruning $5.6 million from spending – and creating $1.4 million of ”headroom” within the trimmed budget – ahead of council annual plan meetings earlier this year. . .

Local government, in general, has been much slower than central government to understand the necessity for cutting costs.

The DCC chief understands what needs to be done and is leading by example.

 

 

 


Green hypocrisy

May 25, 2013

State Owned Minister Tony Ryall has correctly applied the H word to the Green Party:

The Government says it’s hypocritical of the Green Party to criticise the number of ‘mum and dad’ Mighty River Power investors, when they were responsible for “frightening them off”.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall is defending using ‘mum and dad investors’ in the Government’s sales pitch of the shares, despite Greens co-leader Russel Norman calling it a “con”. . .

. . . Mr Ryall responded to those claims this afternoon, saying there was a huge turnout of first time investors, or ‘mum and dads’, despite a plan by the Greens and Labour to “sabotage” it.

He says there were 77,000 first-time investors and more than 101,000 people invested less than $15,000 in the company.

“The Green Party are being hypocritical, saying not enough everyday New Zealanders bought shares, while at the same time they are doing their level best to frighten them off.” . . .

“Over 76,000 people invested less than $5,000 on Mighty River shares and they got everything they asked for,” says Mr Ryall.

“That is a huge achievement despite the economic sabotage of the Green Party and Labour during the float.”

Mr Ryall says investors who were not ‘mum and dads’ had their shares reduced due to demand.

I know several people who were planning to dip their toes into the share market by buying Mighty river Power shares who got cold feet after the LabourGreen power play.
It is indeed hypocritical for Norman to complain that not enough everyday New Zealanders bought shares when their quest for publicity and economic ignorance caused some of those who would have bought to change their minds.

Saturday soapbox

May 25, 2013

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.
Truth, via @[465298390168505:274:Science Is Awesome]


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