Word of the day

11/06/2013

Gloze – to minimize, underplay or explain away; gloss over; extenuate; use flattery or cajolery; make an explanation; shine brightly; a comment; flattery; pretence.


Rural round-up

11/06/2013

Winning farm proud but aims to be better still:

Tarawera Station, winner of the Maori excellence in sheep and beef farming title, says it’s proud to have received the title, but there’s still room for improvement.

The winner of the Ahuwhenua Trophy was announced on Friday night.

Te Awahohonu Forest Trust’s Tarawera Station, which is 60 kms northwest of Napier edged out two other finalists. . .

Te Kuiti shepherd wins inaugural Moari Young farmer Award:

Young Te Kuiti shepherd named as inaugural winner in Ahuwhenua Young Māori Sheep & Beef Farmer of the year competition

Jordan Smith, a young shepherd working on the Kearins Bros Limited farm in Te Kuiti has been announced as the inaugural winner of the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Sheep & Beef Farmer of the Year award in the Hawke’s Bay tonight. . .

Distribution deal launches value-added dairy product into Japanese market:

New Zealand-based dairy biotechnology company, Quantec Ltd, announced today that it has signed a distribution and supply agreement with a major Japanese specialty ingredients company, Kanematsu Chemicals Corporation.

Kanematsu will distribute Quantec’s patented complex of bioactive milk proteins, called IDP®, throughout Japan.

In a deal that is expected to extend over a number of years, the distribution agreement gives Quantec an expansion opportunity into a key Asian market and provides Kanematsu with access to a unique New Zealand dairy-based bioactive protein ingredient for inclusion into Japanese functional foods and human health products. . .

Bulls in the rain – rivettingKate taylor:

Black bulls everywhere this afternoon – if you were in the same paddocks as me near Norsewood!

I was taking photos at the annual Mt Mable Angus bull sale at Pukerimu – home to Kevin and Megan Friel.

It was a tad wet at times when viewing the bulls before the sale…

Three successful years of Primary Growth Partnership marked:

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have marked three years of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) at a function at Parliament tonight.

“The PGP invests in research and innovation to boost productivity in New Zealand’s farming, forestry and food sectors,” Mr Guy says. “This will mean more exports, jobs and better environmental outcomes as well.”

“The Government and industry have so far committed $658 million of multi-year funding for 13 projects.  The potential benefit to the wider economy from these projects is over $7 billion per year from 2025.

“Some examples of current projects include red meat sector collaboration, manuka honey trials, harvesting trees from steep land, improving the precision of seafood catches, and selective breeding of greenshell mussels. . .

Guaranteed Milk Price Set At $7:

Fonterra has confirmed that the Guaranteed Milk Price (GMP) for the 2013/14 season pilot will be $7.00 per kgMS, following the announcement of its opening Milk Price forecast for the season.

Earlier this year the Co-operative announced a GMP pilot programme allowing farmers to lock in a milk price announced at the beginning of a season for up to 75 per cent of their milk supply. With strong interest shown from farmer shareholders, Fonterra is looking for around 200 farms to take part.

Fonterra’s Director of Commodity Risk and Trading, Bruce Turner, says ideally they are looking for a broad base of farmers who are at different stages of their farm’s operations, have varying herd sizes and are located across the country. . .

Discuss the state of NZ’s agricultural sectors at Fieldays:

The Ministry for Primary Industries will present a snapshot of the current position of New Zealand’s agricultural sectors at a free seminar at National Fieldays this week.

An MPI speaker will outline the main conclusions from the Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) including the significant and long-reaching affects of the recent drought, the upcoming reform in water management, and a view of the areas for largest potential growth within the agricultural sectors. . .

Lifting the performance of Maori agribuisness:

The Ministry for Primary Industries will host a free seminar on Friday 14 June at National Fieldays on its work to lift the performance of Māori agribusiness.

Māori agribusiness is a government priority, and MPI has work under way partnering with Māori to support them in maximising the sustainable use of their primary sector assets.

“There is a discernable shift happening in the ownership and management of Māori freehold land,” says MPI Director General Wayne McNee. “Māori landowners are taking a more active approach to fully capitalise on huge gains possible by increasing the productivity and profitability of assets, and by making the most of opportunities to develop the value of its primary produce. . . .


What’s the volume of a barrel?

11/06/2013

One of our men just asked me to calculate the volume of a barrel.

It’s 1.5m high and 1m in diameter but I’m not sure where to go now.

There’s an electronic chocolate cake at stake for anyone who can help.

 

 


Was it all just a lucky guess?

11/06/2013

Did Peters really have access to emails between Andrea Vance and Peter Dunne or did he just make some lucky guesses based on their Twitter exchanges?

Mr Key said he did not believe Mr Peters had seen emails or other communications between Mr Dunne and the reporter, Andrea Vance, which Mr Peters has claimed contained personally embarrassing material.

“It’s normal modus operandi for Mr Peters, bluff and bluster and claims to have lots of information.” . . . 

Mr Peters again refused to say what information he had, but said there were “countless examples” of others doubting his word in the past and he had proved them wrong.

I’d have said there were more examples of others doubting his word in the past and the doubters being proved right.


Where is the gatekeeper?

11/06/2013

Newsrooms used to have gatekeepers.

They were usually senior journos with the wide knowledge and good common sense required to know when a story wasn’t news.

If newsrooms still have gatekeepers they have lowered their standards when non-stories like a politician telling parents what not to tell their children gets through.


The case against farm subsidies

11/06/2013

The economist shows the stupidity of farm subsidies:

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN once sang about “going on the town now looking for easy money”. As easy money goes, it is hard to beat farm subsidies. Handouts for American farmers were a tasty $256 billion between 1995 and 2012. The fattest subsidies went to the richest farmers. According to a study by Tom Coburn, a fiscally conservative senator, these have included Mr Springsteen himself, who leases land to an organic farmer. And Jon Bon Jovi, another rocker, paid property taxes of only $100 on an estate where he raises bees. Taxpayers will be glad to know he is no longer “livin’ on a prayer”.

These two aren’t rich because of farming, even with subsidies, but that still no reason to prop up their farming operations.

Every five years, Congress mulls a new farm bill. To confuse matters and gin up more votes, the bills typically address two entirely separate problems: the plight of the poor (to whom the federal government gives food stamps) and the unpredictability of farming (which the government seeks to alleviate). Politicians from rural states, which are grotesquely over-represented in the Senate, back farm bills for obvious reasons. Many urban politicians back them, too, not least because some of their constituents depend on food stamps.

Buying votes is a very expensive business but it means everyone, rich or poor, is paying twice for their food.

Their taxes contribute to the subsidies to produce it. they also pay to buy it and it might well be more expensive because with subsidies goes protection which limits competition and almost always pushes up prices.

 

The farm bill faces a fight this time but the rest of the story makes even more depressing reading.

It makes me very pleased we no longer have farm subsidies.

I’d much rather face the market than be at the mercy of bureaucrats and politicians.

Hat tip: Quote Unquote


Drought cost $1.3b

11/06/2013

The Ministry of Primary Industries says that the drought cost $1.3b.

That makes irrigation schemes look cheap.


A little more of the story

11/06/2013

The headline says: Dunne-leak reporter Andrea Vance clams up.

The story, behind the NBR’s paywall starts:

Ex-tabloid reporter Andrea Vance has gone overseas after being painted into a corner over the truth and depth of her relationship with resigned revenue minister Peter Dunne. . .

The story goes on to say the NBR wanted to give Ms Vance the chance to give her side of the story and lists some questions it wanted to ask.

One not on the list was why are you going overseas?

The story doesn’t say she’s left because of the Dunne debacle but the implication that her trip is linked to it is clear.

But the trip was not precipitated by the resignation story nor did it have anything to do with it.

I happened to meet someone who knows Ms Vance very well on Saturday and he told me then she was about to leave the country. I didn’t take much notice of the reason for the trip but it had been planned some time ago.

That it coincides with a media storm over Dunne is nothing more than a coincidence.

 

 

 

 


Winter

11/06/2013

“Winter would be so much better if it wasn’t so cold,” she said.

“How could it be winter if it wasn’t cold?” he said.

“I’m still working on that,” she said.


June 11in history

11/06/2013

1184 BC – Trojan War: Troy was sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes.

631 Emperor Taizong of Tang, the Emperor of China, sent envoys to the Xueyantuo bearing gold and silk in order to seek the release of enslaved Chinese prisoners captured during the transition from Sui to Tang from the northern frontier;  – 80,000 Chinese men and women were returned to China.

758 Abbasid Arabs and Uyghur Turks arrived simultaneously at Chang’an, the Tang Chinese capital, in order to offer tribute to the imperial court. They quarrelled over diplomatic prominence at the gate and a settlement was reached when both are allowed to enter at the same time, but through two different gates to the palace.

1345  The megas doux Alexios Apokaukos, chief minister of the Byzantine Empire, was lynched by political prisoners.

1429  Hundred Years’ War: The start of the Battle of Jargeau.

1509  Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon.

1594 Philip II recognised the rights and privileges of the local nobles and chieftains in the Philippines, which paved way to the creation of the Principalía (i.e., elite ruling class of native nobility in Spanish Philippines).

1776 The Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.

1776 John Constable, English painter, was born (d. 1837).

1788  Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reached Alaska.

1805  A fire consumed large portions of Detroit.

1815 Julia Margaret Cameron, English photographer was born (d. 1879).

1825 The first cornerstone was laid for Fort Hamilton in New York City.

1837 The Broad Street Riot in Boston, fuelled by ethnic tensions between Yankees and Irish.

1847 Millicent Fawcett, British suffragist and feminist, was born  (d. 1929).

1864 Richard Strauss, German composer and conductor (d. 1949).

1866  The Allahabad High Court (then Agra High Court) iwa established in India.

1877 Renee Vivien, English-born poet, was born  (d. 1909).

1880 Jeannette Rankin, American politician, feminist, and pacifist, was born (d. 1973).

1892  The Limelight Department, one of the world’s first film studios, was officially established in Melbourne.

1898  Spanish-American War: U.S. war ships set sail for Cuba.

1898  The Hundred Days’ Reform was started by Guangxu Emperor in hope of changing social, political and educational institutions in China.

1901  New Zealand annexed the Cook Islands.

1901 Cornwall Park was gifted to Auckland at a civic reception for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, when Mayor John Logan Campbell handed over the deed to land below One Tree Hill.

Cornwall Park gifted to Auckland

1907 George Dennett, aided by Gilbert Jessop, dismissed  Northamptonshire for 12 runs, the lowest total in first-class cricket.

1910 Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French explorer and inventor, was born (d. 1997).

1917  King Alexander assumed the throne of Greece after his father Constantine I abdicated under pressure by allied armies occupying Athens.

1919 Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown.

1920  During the U.S. Republican National Convention in Chicago, U.S. party leaders gathered in a room at the Blackstone Hotel to come to a consensus on their candidate for the U.S. presidential election, leading the Associated Press to first coin the political phrase “smoke-filled room“.

1933 Gene Wilder, American actor, was born.

1935 Inventor Edwin Armstrong gave the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States.

1936  Jud Strunk, American musician and comedian, was born  (d. 1981).

1936 The International Surrealist Exhibition opened in London.

1937  Great Purge: The Soviet Union executed eight army leaders.

1938  Second Sino-Japanese War: The Battle of Wuhan started.

1938 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Nationalist government created the 1938 Yellow River flood to halt Japanese forces. 500,000 to 900,000 civilians were killed.

1939 Sir Jackie Stewart, Scottish race car driver, three-time F1 world champion and former F1 team principal, was born.

1940 – World War II: First attack of the Italian Air force on the island of Malta.

1942  World War II: The United States agreed to send Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.

1950 Graham Russell, British guitarist and vocalist (Air Supply), was born.

1955  Eighty-three were killed and at least 100 injured after an Austin-Healey and a Mercedes-Benz collided at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1956  Start of Gal Oya riots, the first reported ethnic riots that targeted minority Sri Lankan Tamils in the Eastern Province.

1959 Hugh Laurie, English actor and comedian, was born.

1962  Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin became the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.

1963  American Civil Rights Movement: Alabama Governor George Wallace stood at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending that school. Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they were able to register.

1963  Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burned himself with gasoline in a busy Saigon intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.

1964 Walter Seifert ran amok in an elementary school in Cologne killing at least eight children and two teachers and seriously injuring several more with a home-made flamethrower and a lance.

1968 Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, of Liechtenstein, was born.

1970  Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington became the first women to officially receive their ranks as U.S. Army Generals,

1972  Eltham Well Hall rail crash, caused by an intoxicated train driver, killed six people and injured 126.

1978  Altaf Hussain founded the students’ political movement All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organisation (a.k.a APMSO) in Karachi University.

1981 A 6.9 magnitude earthquake at Golbaf, Iran, killed at least 2,000.

1998  Compaq Computer paid $9 billion for Digital Equipment Corporation.

2001  Timothy McVeigh was executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

2002  Antonio Meucci was acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.

2004  Cassini-Huygens made its closest flyby of Phoebe.

2008  Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an official apology to Canada’s First Nations in regard to a residential school abuse in which children are isolated from their homes, families and cultures for a century.

2012 – Two earthquakes struck northern Afghanistan, causing a large landslide, which buried the town of Sayi Hazara, trapping 71 people. After four days of digging, only five bodies were recovered and the search was called off.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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