Who would it hurt?

June 6, 2013

Winston Peters and his sycophants and Trevor Mallard walked out of parliament over the Speaker David Carter’s ruling that Peter Dunne could still get a leader’s budget although his party has been deregistered.

Mallard and Peters are trying to get at Dunne but who would the loss of funding really hurt?

It would be a temporary inconvenience for Dunne. The people the funding employs could be far harder hit, losing their jobs, if only temporarily until United Future’s membership is sorted out. They’re the workers, the “ordinary” New Zealanders, who Peters and Mallard purport to represent.

The requirement to have 500 valid members is a very low threshold for party registration and it doesn’t reflect well on United Future or its leader that it’s having problems with it.

But the membership problem which caused the deregistration is expected to be sorted out by next week and the party will be re-registered so any loss of funding would be very temporary.

Opposition MPs keen on publicity might think it’s worth making a fuss in spite of that but the people whose jobs could be affected won’t.


Word of the day

June 6, 2013

Malapert – impudently bold in speech or manner; saucy; boldly disrespectful; an impudent, saucy person; a lunar crater that lies near the southern limb of the moon.


Rural round-up

June 6, 2013

Successful 2013 Hemp Harvest for Canterbury:

For the twelfth consecutive year, a successful hemp seed harvest has been completed in the heart of New Zealand’s agricultural centre, the Canterbury plains.

In 2001, Oil Seed Extractions (OSE) and Midlands Seed Limited (Midlands) formed a partnership in the production of high quality seed oils and combined forces to work through the legislation surrounding the commercial production of hemp seed.

These two Ashburton businesses have been involved with hemp trials since the first hemp growing licences were issued in September 2001, and despite the high costs to maintain these licences and the related compliance, they continue to grow successful commercial quantities of Hemp seed in New Zealand. . .

Well done Kereru Station – RivettingKateTaylor:

Normally there are hundreds of red four wheelers traversing the countryside at a Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the year field day , but this year we would have needed a couple of days to get around the magnificent Kereru Station.

Kereru Station’s managers Danny and Robyn Angland  have now been added to the list of who’s who in Hawke’s Bay farming circles (the station is owned by two charitable trusts).

It is a 2842ha property (2114ha effective) with six staff, 15,385 sheep and 1586 cattle. . .

Full-scale Fieldays assault on Russia in the works – Andrea Fox:

Russia is poised for a huge change in the way it farms, with big opportunities for New Zealand agribusiness, say sector leaders planning to get a foothold.

National Fieldays is muscling up its job description to advance New Zealand agriculture, organising a presence for New Zealand agribusiness at a large Moscow show in February, while Hamilton’s Gallagher Group is looking for a way to extend its business in Russia to sales to farmers.

Both were part of a trade visit to Russia last month and say they are excited about the potential for New Zealand in helping the Russian government in its push for greater farming efficiency and production of quality protein, particularly dairy, for its population. . .

Strong demand for NZ sheep genetics

One of New Zealand’s larger air shipments of sheep has landed in Australia to meet growing demand for New Zealand sheep genetics.

The world’s largest red meat genetics company, Focus Genetics, flew 100 Primera and Highlander rams across the Tasman, the third shipment in the last 12 months.

Focus Genetics’ Animal breeding specialist Daniel Absolom said demand has been high.

“The demand for our rams in Australia exceeded all initial expectations. The programme is part of a long term plan to establish NZ sheep genetics in the Australian market,” he said. . .

Environmentally aware farmer elected Federated Farmers Golden Bay president

With the retirement of long serving Federated Farmers Golden Bay provincial president, Graham Ball, Collingwood dairy farmer Sue Brown has stepped up to lead the province.

“Graham will be a tough act to follow but I am humbled to be entrusted with my colleague’s faith,” says Sue Brown, Federated Farmers Golden Bay provincial president.

“Golden Bay is an amazing area to farm in being enveloped, as it is, by both Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks. It is a real privilege to be Federated Farmers provincial president in such a special area we are blessed to farm in. . .

New leaders for Sharemilkers and Sharemilker Employers

Twin leadership changes have come about for Federated Farmers Dairy’s Sharemilkers’ and Sharemilker Employers’ sections. Waikato dairy farmer, Tony Wilding, is the new chair of the Employers Section while Tararua farmer, Neil Filer, has been elected chair of the Federation’s Sharemilkers’ Section.

“The sharemilking system has been a fantastic pathway to farm ownership for us and remains so for many others. Yet today I also see more ways to farm ownership,” says Tony Wilding, chairperson of the Federated Farmers Dairy’s Sharemilker Employers’ Section. . .


Thursday’s quiz

June 6, 2013

1. “Who said: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.?

2. What are lares and penates?

3. It’s biens in French, beni in Italian, bienes in Spanish and rawa or taputapu
in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What the name for a dealer in household items such as oil, soap, paint, and groceries and/or who deals in supplies and equipment for ships and boats?

5. If you could pick any material item, regardless of cost, for your home what would it be?


Co-sleeping deaths preventable

June 6, 2013

Anyone who went to Sunday School will probably know the story of Solomon:

Two young women who lived in the same house and who both had an infant son came to Solomon for a judgment. One of the women claimed that the other, after accidentally smothering her own son while sleeping, had exchanged the two children to make it appear that the living child was hers. The other woman denied this and so both women claimed to be the mother of the living son and said that the dead boy belonged to the other. After some deliberation, King Solomon called for a sword to be brought before him. He declared that there was only one fair solution: the live son must be split in two, each woman receiving half of the child. The liar, in her bitter jealousy, exclaimed, “It shall be neither mine nor yours—divide it!” However, upon hearing this terrible verdict, the boy’s true mother cried out, “Oh Lord, give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!”

All those hundreds of years ago the danger of sharing a bed with a baby was known.

Cot deaths, or Sudden Infant Death syndrome was prevalent when our children were born. It was particularly high in New Zealand and research established that co-sleeping was a very high risk factor.

That was more than 20 years ago and the message still hasn’t got through:

Deaths caused by infants sleeping with their mothers have reached epidemic proportions, a coroner says.

In the Rotorua coroner’s court today, coroner Wallace Bain listed a litany of deaths caused by co-sleeping both in New Zealand and overseas saying the problem was on-going. . .

Noting there had been 55-60 preventable deaths nationwide in recent years, 26 in the Rotorua region in five years involving infants sharing beds with adults, he said parents continued to put their children at risk.

He said midwives appeared to have changed their practice of advising co-sleeping, something he’d refer more formally to in his findings which he reserved.

He urged the media to “get the no co-sleeping message out there”.

Last month an international study was released which said up to 88 percent of children who died while sleeping with their parents may not have died if they were sleeping on their own. 

It was from the biggest ever study of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and results showed that even when neither parent smoked, and the baby was less than three months old, breastfed and the mother did not drink or take drugs, the risk of SIDS was five times higher if sleeping with a parent, than if the baby had slept in a cot next to their parents’ bed.

Smoking, being drunk and taking drowsiness-inducing drugs further increases the risk.

The research is unequivocal about the risks and reducing them is easy.

Babies should sleep in their own beds.

 


Something wrong when houses worth more than farms

June 6, 2013

We spent Queens Birthday with friends in Takapuna.

They showed us modest houses on pocket-handkerchief sections that had recently sold for more than $800,000.

You could buy better houses on bigger sections in many other places for a fraction of that amount.

Our friends also showed us houses which had sold for up to $8 million.

You could buy a good farm for less and something is very wrong with that.

People who already own houses in the city get nervous when measures to increase the supply is mentioned because it could reduce the value of their properties.

But a farming friend who was also with us for a weekend pointed out the value of his farm dropped when the market corrected a few years ago and no-one, except those who owned them and perhaps some of their bankers, was concerned.

Several factors affect the value of property but when Auckland prices are so out of kilter with houses in other parts of the country and with farms, supply and demand are obvious culprits.

That must be addressed not just for the sake of people who want to own property in the city but for the rest of us because of the impact the lack of supply and high prices are having on the economy.

Until the supply is increased and/or the demand drops we’ll all be paying for the problem.


More or fewer?

June 6, 2013

Several commentators have been picking there will be an extra Maori seat after people choose which roll to be on.

But so far  more people are switching from the Maori roll to the general roll than from the general roll to the Maori one.

If that trend continues the number of Maori seats will stay the same or there could be one fewer.

This could be a reflection of Treaty settlements which have enabled Maori to move from grievance mode to growth mode.

It could be because Maori realise the size of the electorates makes it much more difficult for their MPs to represent them effectively.

It could be because there is no single Maori voice.

It could also be because people realise the seats have had their day.

The Maori Party isn’t happy about the trend:

Tariana Turia said “When we first entered into a relationship with the National Party in 2008, the first thing we did was negotiate to keep the Maori seats in place. At that time it was a huge deal because National had campaigned on getting rid of the Maori seats. We cannot be complacent, we know that our seats remain vulnerable, and if we don’t use them we risk losing them.”

“Māori voter participation is absolutely crucial to any system of political representation. And yet, for at least the last decade, there has been ample evidence demonstrating that the electoral system is not effectively engaging with Māori. Much more work must be done on all fronts, to encourage Māori uptake on their democratic right, to get on the electoral roll”.

Voter participation and representation do not depend on special Maori seats.

Participation is equally important which ever roll people are on and being on the general roll doesn’t mean Maori aren’t represented.

Turia herself said that Maori seats didn’t give Maori a voice:

I think what our people are starting to realise though is that when they voted Maori people into Labour they never got a Maori voice, they got a Labour voice and that was the difference, and they’ve only begun to realise it since the Maori Party came into parliament, because it is the first time that they have heard significant Maori issues raised on a daily basis.

I don’t know if there are any figures for Maori voter participation on the general roll but voting in Maori seats is usually lower than in general seats. Many who enrol on the Maori roll don’t bother to vote.

One argument used to defend the continuation of Maori seats is that it’s up to Maori to choose.

That’s like saying only those 65 and over should have a say on superannuation. Having Maori seats affects us all.

If those seats were dropped and the current total number of electorates retained the seats would decrease in geographical size which would give better representation for all of us.


June 6 in history

June 6, 2013

1508 Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, was defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces.

1513 Italian Wars: Battle of Novara. Swiss troops defeated the French under Louis de la Tremoille, forcing the French to abandon Milan. Duke Massimiliano Sforza was restored.

1523 Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden, marking the end of the Kalmar Union.

1644 The Qing Dynasty Manchu forces led by the Shunzhi Emperor captured Beijing during the collapse of the Ming Dynasty.

1654 Charles X succeeded his abdicated cousin Queen Christina to the Swedish throne.

1674 Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire was crowned.

1683 The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opened as the world’s first university museum.

1752 A fire destroyed one-third of Moscow, including 18,000 homes.

1799 Alexander Pushkin, Russian poet, was born (d. 1837).

1808 Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte was crowned King of Spain.

1809 Sweden promulgated a new Constitution, which restores political power to the Riksdag of the Estates after 20 years of Enlightened absolutism.

1813 War of 1812: Battle of Stoney Creek – A British force of 700 under John Vincent defeated an American force three times its size under William Winder and John Chandler.

1823 Samuel Leigh and William White established Wesleydale, a Wesleyan (Methodist) mission station at Kaeo, near Whangaroa Harbour.

Wesleyan mission established

1832 The June Rebellion of Paris was put down by the National Guard.

1833 U.S. President Andrew Jackson became the first President to ride a train.

1844 The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London.

1857 Sophia of Nassau married the future King Oscar II of Sweden-Norway.

1859 Queensland was established as a separate colony from New South Wales (Queensland Day).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Memphis – Union forces captured Memphi, from the Confederates.

1868 Robert Falcon Scott, English explorer was born (d. 1912).

1882 More than 100,000 inhabitants of Bombay were killed when a cyclone in the Arabian Sea pushed huge waves into the harbour.

1882 The Shewan forces of Menelik defeated the Gojjame army in the Battle of Embabo. The Shewans capture Negus Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam, and heir victory leads to a Shewan hegemony over the territories south of the Abay River.

1889 The Great Seattle Fire destroyed downtown Seattle, Washington.

1892 Chicago El began operation.

1894 Governor Davis H. Waite orders the Colorado state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners’ strike.

1906 Paris Métro Line 5 was inaugurated with a first section from Place d’Italie to the Gare d’Orléans.

1912 The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska began.

1918 World War I: Battle of Belleau Wood – The U.S. Marine Corps suffered its worst single day’s casualties while attempting to recapture the wood at Chateau-Thierry.

1919 The Republic of Prekmurje ended.

1921 The Southwark Bridge in London, was opened for traffic by King George V and Queen Mary.

1923 V. C. Andrews, American author, was born (d. 1986).

1925 The Chrysler Corporation was founded by Walter Percy Chrysler.

1932 The Revenue Act of 1932 was enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of 1 cent per US gallon (1/4 ¢/L) sold.

1933 The first drive-in theatre opened, in Camden, New Jersey.

1934 King Albert II of Belgium, was born.

1934 New Deal: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Securities Act of 1933 into law, establishing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

1936 Levi Stubbs, American musician (The Four Tops), was born (d. 2008).

1939 Adolf Hitler gave a public address to returning German volunteers who fought as Legion Kondor during the Spanish Civil War.

1942 Battle of Midway. U.S. Navy dive bombers sank the Japanese cruiser Mikuma and four Japanese carriers.

1944 Battle of Normandy began. D-Day, code named Operation Overlord, commenced with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy.

1944 Alaska Airlines commenced operations.

1946 The Basketball Association of America was formed in New York City.

1956 Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player, was born.

1964 Under a temporary order, the rocket launches at Cuxhaven, Germany, were terminated.

1966 James Meredith, civil rights activist, was shot while trying to march across Mississippi.

1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy died from his wounds after he was shot the previous night.

1971 Soyuz 11 launched.

1971 A midair collision between a Hughes Airwest Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a United States Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet fighter near Duarte, California claimed 50 lives.

1971 Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Khanh between Australian and Vietnamese communist forces began.

1974 Sweden became a parliamentary monarchy.

1981 A passenger train travelling between Mansi and Saharsa, India, jumped the tracks at a bridge crossing the Bagmati river.

1982 1982 Lebanon War began. Forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invaded southern Lebanon in their “Operation Peace for the Galilee“.

1983 – Joe Rokocoko, Fijian rugby player and All Black was born.

Joe Rokocoko.jpg

1984 The Indian Army attacked the Golden Temple in Amritsar following an order from Indira Gandhi.

1985 The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” was exhumed in Embu, Brazil; the remains found were later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death”.

1986 – Gin Wigmore, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1990 U.S. District court judge Jose Gonzales rules that the rap album As Nasty As They Wanna Be by 2 Live Crew violated Florida’s obscenity law; he declared that the predominant subject matter of the record is “directed to the ‘dirty’ thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind.”

1993 Mongolia held its first direct presidential elections.

1999 In Australian Rules Football, Tony Lockett broke the record for career goals, previously 1299 by Gordon Coventry which had stood since 1937.

2002 A near-Earth asteroid estimated at 10 metres diameter exploded over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The resulting explosion was estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.

2004 Tamil was established as a Classical language by the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.

2005 The United States Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning cannabis, including medical marijuana, in Gonzales v. Raich.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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