Word of the day


Residuum – that which remains; residue; remainder; quantity or body of matter remaining after evaporation, combustion, distillation, etc.

Rural round-up


All of market’s wants required – Sally Rae:

New Zealand’s red meat industry needs to have the ”whole package” when it comes to market presence, robust systems, strong relationships and corporate respect.

That was one of the findings of Five Forks couple Blair and Jane Smith, the supreme winners of the 2012 Ballance Farm Environment Awards, after a 16-day study tour of specific primary industry markets in Korea, Taiwan and China. . . .

Agriculture begging for graduates – Kashka Tunstall:

It ranks as New Zealand’s most productive, innovative sector.

Entry level positions get an annual pay packet of $55,000, roughly 40 per cent more than the average arts graduate entering the workforce will earn.

Progression is a given and, with shortages in the field internationally, graduates end up having a global career.

The problem is, no one wants to study it.

Agriculture, which John Key has called the backbone of New Zealand’s economy, is an industry with massive growth potential. . .

Couple top Kiwi green farmers – Gerald Piddock:

Craige and Roz Mackenzie have been recognised as the country’s top environmental farmers after being named national winners of the 2013 Farm Environment Awards.

They received the Gordon Stephenson Trophy in front of 400 guests at the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust’s Sustainability Showcase in Hamilton on Saturday night.

The winner is recognised as an ambassador for the promotion of sustainable and profitable farming in New Zealand.

The event celebrated the contribution agriculture made to the New Zealand economy and highlighted the efforts farmers had made to find better ways to manage their farming systems.

The trophy is presented annually and is named after the Waikato farmer who started the farm environment awards. . .

Family mill does more than lumber along – Sally Rae:

Sawmilling has always been a passion for Roger Stuart.

Unsurprisingly, it was all he wanted to do when he left school, given the family connection with the timber industry.

Stuart Timber, at Tapanui, which he now manages, was established in 1980 by the Stuart family and remains a real family business.

”Sawmilling is definitely in the veins of the Stuart crew, no doubt about that,” he mused recently. . .

New president for Rural Contractors NZ:

Wellsford-based agricultural contractor Steve Levet is the new head of the Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ).

Rural Contractors New Zealand is the only national association for rural contractors in New Zealand.

Mr Levet was elected president of the association at its annual conference, held in Cromwell in late June, taking over from John Hughes who stood down after four years in the role. Southland’s David Kean was elected vice-president. . .


UK’s top end supermarket keen on HB red wine:

Hawke’s Bay’s “exciting” wines and the “clean living” image of this region fits the “aspirational ideals” of the customers of Waitrose, UK’s leading top end supermarket, according to its New Zealand wine buyer Matt Smith, who was here on a scouting mission to find new wines to stock the shelves.

It was Mr Smith’s second visit to the region and he was excited by the opportunity he saw for Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet blends. He described the wines he tasted as being “impressive” food focused wines that had benefited from more sun and warmth than competing wines from around the world. . . .

Sign sense and nonsense


The road rule requiring anyone passing a school bus picking up or letting off children to slow down to no more than 20 kilometres per hour doesn’t appear to be well observed.

That could be because it’s not widely known, it could also be because it’s not always easy to observe.

If you’re on the open road and come upon a stationary bus not far from a corner you’d really have to jam on your brakes to get down to 20 kph in the short distance available.

And that’s if you see it.

If it’s on the other side of the road and there’s other traffic passing it which obscures your view or takes your attention it’s very easy to not register that it’s a school bus.

North Otago thought they had a good idea to make the buses more visible and the speed restriction more obvious – flashing signs saying 20.

But the Ministry of Transport won’t allow them.

About 20 flashing warning signs, which displayed the 20kmh speed limit for passing parked school buses, were given to Ritchies Transport following a community fundraising effort about five years ago, but they were then left gathering dust at the Oamaru bus depot when the ministry asked for them to be removed from buses.

Oamaru Community Constable Bruce Dow said the signs had been ”highly effective” in the brief time they were installed on school buses, and called for the ministry to allow them to be used, or provide replacements.

”With that sign there you not only get warning, because of the flashing lights, but you also get the speed limit. . .

Ministry spokesman Brenden Crocker said at present only three signs had been approved for use on school buses. A flashing sign had been approved but it did not contain a speed limit.

He said in order for the signs to be recognised, they would have to go through a trial process under the auspices of the New Zealand Transport Agency, in order to provide ”sufficient evidence” of their value.

The Ashburton District Council had this month completed a 12-month trial of similar signs but no results had yet been passed on to the ministry, he said.

The use of a flashing sign makes sense, the Ministry’s opposition doesn’t.

There’s good reason not to have a plethora of different signs but could the North Otago signs not be reinstated and used as a trial?

Either way it’s 20 k is a simple slogan but observing it isn’t easy.

Flashing signs alerting drivers that a school bus has stopped and reminding them of the speed limit would surely help.

NZ Post – my part in its downfall


Sunday evening was always letter writing time for my mother.

Every week, she’d sit down with a fountain pen and a pad, notepaper or those flimsy blue aerogrammes and write to family and friends around New Zealand and overseas.

Those were the days long before email and texts and when toll calls were so expensive they were used only for matters of great importance or urgency.

When I went to university I was added to the list of recipients and a beautifully written – in terms of script and wording – letter would arrive from home every Monday.

I was usually reasonably good about replying but at one stage got a bit slack.

After a couple of weeks I received a poem from Mum which began, What ails?/Art thou pale? It continued with a list of possible explanations for my failure to write and concluded Feeling tired? You’re fired!

I was at St Margaret’s, a residential college in Dunedin at the time, and when they heard that there was a vacancy for the position of daughter in my family home, several of my fellow residents penned applications.

Mum responded, in Greek, which she translated (somewhat loosely I suspect), as better the devil you know . . .  and I was reinstated.

Lesson learned, I ensured responses to letters from home were more timely.

It wasn’t hard as a student. When lectures dragged I’d pen an epistle in between note-taking. As a reporter, I had plenty of opportunity too, writing letters while covering meetings where discussion was lengthy but not newsworthy.

Post cards and letters were the only affordable way to keep in touch with family and friends when I was doing my OE and when I first married I was pretty good at keeping in touch through the post.

As life got busier, my letter writing slackened but when we got the news of our first son’s imminent death, I phoned my parents and one friend and wrote to the rest which, in hindsight, was therapeutic.

When Tom died we were overwhelmed by the number of cards and notes we received and I responded to each and every one.

Seven years later, when our second son died, I was writing a column for the ODT and there was even more mail, a lot of it from people I’d never met, but who knew my family and me through those columns.

We’ve kept them all, and although it’s a long time since I’ve looked at them, they remain as a tangible reminder of the kindness we received, in a way more ephemeral electronic communications can’t match.

A couple of years later we connected to the internet. My letter writing which was reducing anyway declined steeply as electronic correspondence increased and the price of toll calls decreased since then.

I did keep up Christmas cards until recently but have all but given up on those too and note that the majority of those we receive are from business contacts rather than family and friends.

The box of 100 stamps which sits in my desk drawer has remained almost untouched since I bought it last year.

In the last six months I’ve posted a cheque as a donation to buy meat for the church fair, a voucher for dinner for an auction for the same cause and two thank you letters. Any other correspondence, bill payments or invoicing has been done electronically.

I do receive more mail than I send but most of it is magazines, books bought through the internet, bank statements and junk. Only rarely is there a personal card or letter.

Most people don’t do that sort of mail any more and that’s why New Zealand Post is closing several mail centres.

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said the news of the mail centre closure and loss of jobs was not welcome.

”This is a reaction to the shift in their business model. They have to do what they have to do to run their business profitably. We only have to look at our own mail habits to understand.”

The closures are tough for those losing their jobs but fewer items in the mail requires fewer people to sort and deliver them.

Post isn’t dead but it’s no longer the fastest, cheapest or best way for most of us to communicate and NZ Post has no choice but to cut back to reflect the decreasing demand for its services.

GMO regulation for govt not councils – Feds


Federated Farmers agrees with Environment Minister Amy Adams that the regulation of genetically modified organisms should be a matter for central government not local bodies.

“Federated Farmers would welcome amendment to the Resource Management Act to “clarify the respective functions and roles of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and local government,” as the Minister put it,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Local Government spokesperson.

“We are not overly impressed with some councils wasting ratepayer resources on trying to ape the EPA. As Minister Adams put it, councils should not “set up their own independent states where they write their own rules and ignore the national framework”.

“Especially when those rules are based on what seems to be ‘pub-talk’.

“A Northland inter-council working party’s draft section 32 analysis recommending ‘local regulation’ to restrict GMO’s, only references one website known for its anti GMO stance, one anti-GMO book and one of the key proponents for local regulation.

“A section 32 analysis should be based on sound science but this analysis is neither unbiased nor rigorous. It puts these councils on a collision course with the EPA, which does possess the brainpower and resources to test more than an internet search engine.

“Bizarrely, the Northland inter-council working party’s analysis makes no mention of the GMO based equine influenza vaccine, which is currently approved for conditional release in New Zealand.

“Nor, I must add, what the cost to Northland’s bloodstock and racing industries would be if councils tried to block its use.

“That’s why the legality of councils regulating GMOs is highly questionable.

“Federated Farmers view, shared by Minister Adams, is that the only appropriate way to make these decisions is through careful scrutiny of the science. We entrust the EPA with the scientific and funding resources to make these types of scientific assessments.

“Councils need to stick to their knitting and regulating GMO’s is not it,” Katie Milne concluded.

Councils, often rightly, complain about obligations and subsequent costs imposed on them by central government.

They should be relieved that this is one responsibility they aren’t required to shoulder.

Councils are unlikely to have the expertise to properly evaluate GMOs and more likely to be swayed by emotion than science, as most opposed to them are.

Divided they lost


Only around 12,000 of the nearly 35,000 people on the electoral roll in Ikaroa-Rawhiti bothered to do vote in the by-election.

Labour’s Meka Whaitiri won the seat with just 4,368 votes and a sorry 35.8% turnout.

Is that a record low?

The Mana Party will be delighted that its candidate  Te Hāmua Nikora came second with 2,607 votes.

The Maori Party will be very disappointed that its candidate Na Raihania, was third with 2,104.

The win might be enough for those in Labour’s caucus who were aiming their knives at their leader’s back to set them down, for now.

But something all three parties need to think about is that the combined total of Nikora’s and Raihania’s votes was greater than that of Whaitiri’s.

Pita Sharples says the Maori Party, rather than its candidate, is responsible for its result. He didn’t mention, but he ought to be thinking about, his unwillingness to loosen his hold on the leadership.

However, as Matthew Hooton points out:

Had Mr Harawira not split the Maori Party in 2011, it is almost certain it would have won last night’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election.  It would most probably have held on to Te Tai Tonga in 2011 so that it would now hold six of the seven Maori electorates and have much greater leverage over Mr Key and Labour. . .

There is no single Maori view but one party targeting the Maori seats would have had a very real chance of challenging Labour for them and being in a very strong position to go with a government led by either National or Labour.

But divided they lost the by-election and will almost certainly be too weak separately to do nearly as well as they could together.

Harawira put his personal feelings before political strategy, opening the way for Labour to retake most of the Maori seats and that could well bring about the demise of these electorates.

The idea of  New Zealand First in a governing coalition is the stuff of nightmares. But there would be one small consolation if that was the only way for National to stay in government, both parties favour culling the Maori seats.

National conceded that policy when it invited the Maori Party into coalition in 2008.

Should the Maori Party not be in a position to help National into government and, perish the thought, New Zealand First be a potential coalition partner, the Maori seats could go.

If Harawira had bothered to take a longer view beyond his personal agenda he would have been aware of that possibility and the risk he was taking in splintering from the Maori Party.

July 1 in history


69  Tiberius Julius Alexander ordered his Roman legions in Alexandria to swear allegiance to Vespasian as emperor.

1097  Battle of Dorylaeum: Crusaders under Bohemond of Taranto defeated a Seljuk army under Qilich Arslan I.

1520  La Noche Triste: Joint Mexican Indian force led by Aztecs under Cuitláhuac defeated Spanish Conquistadors under Hernán Cortés.

1569  Union of Lublin: The Kingdom of Poland and Great Duchy of Lithuania confirm a real union, the united countrywas called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or the Republic of Both Nations.

1690  Glorious Revolution: Battle of the Boyne ( in Julian calendar).

1770 Lexell’s Comet passed closer to the Earth than any other comet in recorded history, approaching to a distance of 0.0146 a.u.

1782  American privateers attacked Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

1837 A system of the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths was established in England and Wales.

1855 Quinault Treaty signed, Quinault and Quileute ceded their land to the United States.

1858  The joint reading of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace’s papers on evolution to the Linnean Society.

1862  The Russian State Library was founded.

1862  American Civil War: The Battle of Malvern Hill – final battle in the Seven Days Campaign, part of the George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign.

1863  Keti Koti, Emancipation Day in Suriname, marking the abolition of slavery by the Netherlands.

1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg began.

1867  The British North America Act, 1867 took effect as the Constitution of Canada, creating the Canadian Confederation and the federal dominion of Canada; John A. Macdonald was sworn in as the first Prime Minister.

1869 William Strunk Jr., American grammarian, was born (d. 1946).

1879 Charles Taze Russell published the first edition of the religious magazine The Watchtower.

1881  The world’s first international telephone call was made between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine., United States.

1881 General Order 70, the culmination of the Cardwell-Childers reforms of the British Army, came into effect.

1885 The United States terminated reciprocity and fishery agreement with Canada.

1892 The Homestead Strike, a strike by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers against the Carnegie Steel Company, began.

1898  Spanish-American War: The Battle of San Juan Hill was fought in Santiago de Cuba.

1899 Thomas A. Dorsey, American composer, was born (d. 1993).

1899 Charles Laughton, English actor, was born (d. 1962).

1903 Amy Johnson, English pilot, was born (d. 1941).

1906 Estée Lauder, American entrepreneur, was born (d. 2004).

1908 SOS was adopted as the international Distress signal.

1915 Leutnant Kurt Wintgens achieved the first known aerial victory with a synchronized gun-equipped fighter plane, the Fokker M.5K/MG Eindecker.

1916 Olivia de Havilland, British-born actress, was born.

1916  World War I: First day on the Somme – On the first day of the Battle of the Somme 19,000 soldiers of the British Army were killed and 40,000 wounded.

1921 The Communist Party of China was founded.

1928 Bobby Day, American musician was born, (d 1990).

1931  United Airlines began service (as Boeing Air Transport).

1933 The Canadian Parliament suspended all Chinese immigration.

1934 Jean Marsh, English actress, was born.

1934 Sydney Pollack, American film director, was born (d. 2008).

1935  Regina, Saskatchewan police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police ambushed strikers participating in On-to-Ottawa-Trek.

1935 – Grant Park Music Festival began its tradition of free summer symphonic music concert series in Chicago’s Grant Park which continues as the United States’ only annual free outdoor classical music concert series.

1942  World War II: First Battle of El Alamein.

1942  Australian Federal Government became sole collector of Income Tax (State Income Tax Abolished).

1943 Tokyo City merged with Tokyo Prefecture and was dissolved. Since then, no city in Japan has had the name “Tokyo“. (Present-day Tokyo is not a city.)

1945 Deborah Harry, American musician (Blondie), was born.

1947  The Philippine Air Force was established.

1948  Quaid-i-Azam inaugurated Pakistan’s central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan.

1951 Fred Schneider, American singer (The B-52′s), was born.

1952 Dan Aykroyd, Canadian actor, was born.

1953 Jadranka Kosor, Prime Minister of Croatia, was born.

1953 – Lawrence Gonzi, Maltese Prime Minister, was born.

1958  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation linked television broadcasting across Canada via microwave.

1958 Flooding of Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway began.

1959  The Party of the African Federation held its constitutive conference.

1959  Specific values for the international yard, avoirdupois pound and derived units (e.g. inch, mile and ounce) were adopted after agreement between the U.S., U.K. and other commonwealth countries.

1960  Independence of Somalia.

1960 – Ghana became a Republic and Kwame Nkrumah became its first President.

1961 Diana, Princess of Wales, was born (d. 1997).

1962  Independence of Rwanda.

1962  Independence of Burundi.

1963  ZIP Codes were introduced for United States mail.

1963 – The British Government admitted that former diplomat Kim Philby had worked as a Soviet agent.

1967 – The European Community was formally created out of a merger with the Common Market, the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Commission.

1967 – Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the British North America Act, 1867, which officially made Canada its own federal dominion.

1968  The CIA’s Phoenix Program was officially established.

1968 – The Nuclear non-proliferation treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., London and Moscow by sixty-two countries.

1968 – Formal separation of the United Auto Workers from the AFL-CIO.

1970  President General Yahya Khan abolished One-Unit of West Pakistan restoring the provinces.

1972  The first Gay Pride march in England.

1976  Portugal granted autonomy to Madeira.

1978 The Northern Territory in Australia is granted Self-Government.

1979  Sony introduced the Walkman.

1980  O Canada officially became the national anthem of Canada.

1981  The Wonderland Murders occurred in the early morning hours, allegedly masterminded by businessman and drug dealer Eddie Nash.

1983 A North Korean Ilyushin Il-62 jet crashed into the Fouta Djall Mountains in Guinea-Bissau, killing all 23 people on board.

1987 American radio station WFAN in New York City was launched as the world’s first all-sports radio station.

1988  The government announced that it had agreed to the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendation that Bastion Point in Auckland be returned to Ngati Whatua ownership.

Bastion Point land returned

1991 The Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved at a meeting in Prague.

1997 China resumed sovereignty over the city-state of Hong Kong, ending 156 years of British colonial rule.

1999  The Scottish Parliament was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth on the day that legislative powers were officially transferred from the old Scottish Office in London to the new devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh.

2000 – The Oresund Bridge, connecting Sweden and Denmark, opened for traffic.

2002 The International Criminal Court was established to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

2002 – A Bashkirian Airlines (flight 2937) Tupolev TU-154 and a DHL Boeing 757 collided in mid-air over Ueberlingen, killing 71.

2004 Saturn Orbit insertion of Cassini-Huygens began at 01:12 UTC and ended at 02:48 UTC.

2006 – The first operation of Qinghai-Tibet Railway in China.

2007 Smoking in England was banned in all public indoor spaces. With the ban already in force in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this means it is illegal to smoke in indoor public places anywhere in the UK. The ban was also put into effect in Australia.

2008 Rioting erupted in Mongolia in response to allegations of fraud surrounding the 2008 legislative elections.

2009  Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader resigned giving no specific reason. Jadranka Kosor was announced as the next Prime Minister, the first woman ever to hold the post.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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