God defend Australia?

June 15, 2013

You can understand someone confusing the New Zealand and Australian flags – but the anthems?

Australia’s men’s hockey team has been forced to watch on awkwardly as officials mistakenly played the New Zealand national anthem instead of Advance Australia Fair prior to a match in Holland.

The Kookaburras were waiting for the Australian anthem prior to their opening Hockey World League match with Belgium when the Maori version of the New Zealand anthem began playing.

Footage of the anthem ceremony shows the bemused response from the Kookaburras as they realise the mistake, some players begin grinning while others shake their head.

Click on the link above for the video.

Word of the day

June 15, 2013

Niggler – person who pays excessive attention to trifles or petty details; person who criticises or finds fault constantly or repeatedly; a carper.

Rural round-up

June 15, 2013

Field Days opinion poll reveals effects of the drought is seen as biggest challenge for agricultural industry:

An opinion poll of visitors to the annual Agricultural Field Days 2013 shows that 54% of respondents believe the effects of the nationwide drought are the biggest challenge facing New Zealand’s agricultural industry this year.

The Aggreko Thought Generator poll was conducted during the first three days of Field Days event. Visitors completed an iPad questionnaire hosted by Aggreko, the world leader in the supply of temporary power and temperature control solutions. The poll aimed to gauge industry sentiment around a number of topical issues. . .

Key notes: supporting rural communities:

New Zealand’s primary industries have been in the spotlight this week, with the annual Fieldays taking place at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.  I’m enjoying talking to farmers, exhibitors, and members of the public at the event today.

Fieldays is an opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of our rural communities.  Agriculture and the wider primary sector are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy.  When it succeeds, New Zealand succeeds.

National’s economic plan has real benefits for the primary sector. When we cut the company tax rate to 28 cents in the dollar in 2010, we knew this would make life easier for New Zealand businesses, including farmers. And it has. . . .

Bloody Friday – Offsetting Behaviour:

Saturday mornings, I cook pancakes. While cooking pancakes, I listen to Duncan Smith and Susan Murray’s Country Life programme on Radio New Zealand (as do all good Kiwis). It’s often a wonderful celebration of rural entrepreneurship.

I had never heard of Bloody Friday. And so I last week learned something new.

Friday, 9 June, 1978: 300 farmers released 1300 ewes onto the streets of Invercargill, herded them through the streets, then slaughtered them right there to the surprise of onlookers.

The Meatworkers’ Union had made it impossible for the farmers to get their stock to slaughter. Sheep were starving in the paddocks because the feed had run out; the farmers had planned on getting their stock to market rather earlier. . .

Bloody Friday farmers praised for bravery -Terri Russell:

 Hundreds of Southland farmers involved in the 1978 “Bloody Friday” protest were praised for their bravery at the weekend.

About 200 people gathered at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club for the 35th anniversary of the protest, when farmers ran 1300 ewes down Dee St before slaughtering them on a Victoria Ave section.

Farmers were frustrated by industrial chaos across the meat industry, exacerbated by the worst drought much of the province had seen since 1956.

Protest leader Syd Slee said there were about 200 people at the reunion and half were involved in the protest. “We’re very proud looking back on the protest,” he said. . . .

New Leadership for Young Farmers:

Cole Groves has been voted the new Chairman for New Zealand Young Farmers. Mr Groves takes the helm after Paul Olsen who stepped down from his two-year term.

“It’s a fantastic group of people”, Mr Groves said. “It’s a big honour”.

Mr Groves previously served on the board as an elected member for two years, and he views his new appointment as an opportunity to give back to an organisation that has given him plenty.

“I’ve gotten so much out of my involvement with Young Farmers; from self-development to growing my business contacts”, commented Mr Groves. . .

Wools of NZ appoints new CEO:

Wools of New Zealand Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Ross Townshend as its new Chief Executive Officer. The appointment follows the successful capitalisation of Wools of New Zealand completed in March of this year and is in line with the company’s strategy of putting the necessary people and processes in place to effectively run a 100% grower-owned sales and marketing company.

Mark Shadbolt, Chairman of Wools of New Zealand, said that after a rigorous selection process spanning several months the Board was delighted that Townshend, a Waikato sheep farmer and a shareholder of Wools of New Zealand, had accepted the role. . . .

Bioenergy association  statement – Woodscape:

Bioenergy Association is encouraged by the wood processing sector identification of the value of business opportunities from biofuels.

Recent research undertaken for the forestry and wood processing sector has identified that some emerging biofuel technologies can provide attractive additional revenue streams for existing businesses.

Speaking today, Mr Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) said that “BANZ welcomes the release of the Woodco research project (WoodScape) which evaluates a number of possible investment opportunities for the wood processing sector. The report shows that the emerging technologies for producing transport biofuels can be financially attractive as new enterprises. However these would be even more attractive as bolt-ons to existing business which already have the infrastructure and technical capabilities to extend into these new products.” . . .

Industry Happy to Talk About Sharing the Otago-Southland Paua Fishery:

The Otago Southland paua industry says it wants to make the most of the next few months to try to reach agreement with recreational and customary paua divers over shared access for areas of the coastline.

The Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, has announced that consultation on commercial access would continue for areas that previously had been closed because of a health risk. . .

Release of new fish stock assessment:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released the latest comprehensive scientific assessment of the status of New Zealand’s fisheries.

“The 2013 plenary report provides us with valuable, peer-reviewed scientific information on the status of our fish stocks and fisheries” says Dr Pamela Mace, Principal Advisor Fisheries Science for MPI.

“Many of the assessments indicate there is scope for increases in current catch limits. Hoki is the “star” performer. A few short years ago, there was concern that the western stock had become depleted. Science has driven strong and decisive management action and ensured the full restoration of hoki New Zealand-wide, even surpassing management benchmarks.” . . .

What do these words have in common?

June 15, 2013

A friend emailed this.

See if you can figure out what these seven words all have in common:


1. Banana

2. Dresser

3. Grammar

4. Potato

5. Revive

6. Uneven

7. Assess

Are you peeking or have you already given up?

Give it another try….

Look at each word carefully.

They all have at least 2 double letters but there’s something else.

The answer is after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday’s smiles

June 15, 2013

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognises you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense. It really gets the adrenalin flowing.

I may have been in Continent, and I don’t remember what country I was in, I was either too young to know or too ill to care.



June 15, 2013

9/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz. Let down by numbers – again.

Let’s not go there

June 15, 2013

Jane Clifton explains the motivation for opposition behaviour over Peter Dunne’s resignation:

What’s really going on here is a three-way game of whack-a-mole. Labour, the Greens and Winston’s New Zealand First are odds-on to form the next Government, but as coalitions go, it’ll be a shotgun wedding. There are outbreaks of cooperation, and the official line is that a Labour-Green ceasefire is in place. But at bottom, none of these parties’ main players rate, respect or trust one another. They are on the same side on most issues – ie, whatever National does is evil. But they’re also in predatory competition with one another.

All of which makes Parliament’s battle-lines oscillate alarmingly. Things can seem relatively straightforward when a party recognises that its enemy’s enemy is its friend. But when that “friend” turns out to be more inimical than the enemy, what then?

There would be even more inimical participants if the Maori and/or Mana parties were added to the mix.

Labour is in the process of trying to figure out whether it can help engineer the squeezing out of one or other of its potential partners so it only has to swallow the one set of policy dead rats in government. So whose rats would be the least obnoxious? At the moment, you’d have to say Team Red is fantasising about not having to work with Team Green and thinking that maybe Winston – the devil it knows from past Beehive iterations – is the better option.

If he’s the better option it doesn’t say anything good about the alternative.

The Greens would be exponentially more demanding than Winston. The fact that co-leader Russel Norman is still evangelising the wonders of quantitative easing represents a gigantic elephant room-mate for the putative Labour/Green/NZ First finance minister. The Greens would, of course, like that to be Norman, and there’s another almighty conflict to resolve before even getting bums on seats in the Cabinet room.

The Greens would also hold out for a massive progressive tax realignment that would quickly alienate a chunk of Labour’s salaried and small-business support base, and doubtless reinvigorate the population drain to Australia. The Greens would demand nothing less than a fiscal upheaval.

All of which would provide National with plenty of ammunition to scare voters from listing to the left.

A red government would be bad enough for the country, add green to the mix and you’d get something altogether worse.

It really would be better not to go there.

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