Rural round-up

August 10, 2013

Fonterra Confirms No Health Risk with High School Project:

Fonterra today confirmed that there is no health risk to students at Palmerston North Girls’ High School who drank drinks that included whey protein concentrate (WPC80) from a batch subsequently subject to the recent precautionary recall.

Fonterra visited the school today to work with the principal and teachers as they informed students and parents about the whey protein concentrate provided to the school. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health have also been involved in supporting the school.

Fonterra Chief Technology Officer Dr Jeremy Hill said Fonterra established last night that a small portion of some potentially affected whey protein concentrate was provided to the school in February 2013. . .

Landcorp 2013 profit probably higher than forecast as it mitigates drought impact – Tina Morrison:

Landcorp Farming, New Zealand’s biggest farmer, says earnings may be a smidgen higher than first budgeted after initially thinking it may only breakeven this year when drought hit milk production and livestock price.

Net operating profit was probably $13 million in the year ended June 30, compared with its original budget of $12.7 million and down from $27 million the year earlier, state-owned Landcorp said in a statement

In January, the company, which operates 119 properties, cut its earnings expectations to between $6 million and $8 million and in March said it may only breakeven as the worst drought in 70 years crimped production and hit prices. . . .

New salmon farms get the go ahead:

New Zealand King Salmon got the go ahead yesterday for four new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds, when two appeals to the High Court were completely dismissed.

New Zealand King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne says he and his team are extremely relieved. He says “I am hugely proud of my team, and their absolute commitment through what has been an exhausting process. But we’re very excited and eager to get on with the business of producing the world’s best salmon”.

Once operational, the four new farms will create about 200 new jobs in the Top of the South, and benefits will start to flow through wages and additional work for local suppliers such as water taxis, engineering firms, transport companies and local shops. . .

Government welcomes King Salmon decision:

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have welcomed the High Court’s decision to dismiss two appeals on the Board of Inquiry’s approval for New Zealand King Salmon to develop new marine farms in the Marlborough Sounds.

The decision of the Board of Inquiry, reached in February 2011, to approve four new salmon farming sites in the Marlborough Sounds was appealed by two parties and that appeal was heard at the High Court in Blenheim in May.

“The impacts of these new marine farms on the important recreation and conservation values of the Marlborough Sounds are small. This is about use of only six hectares of more than 100,000 hectares of water space in the Sounds,” Dr Smith says. . .

Sanford to miss forecast on lower skipjack tuna, toothfish and mussel harvest – Tina Morrison:

Sanford, New Zealand’s largest listed fishing company, said annual profit will fall short of its forecast after lower catches of skipjack tuna and toothfish and slow growth in its main Marlborough mussel growing area. The shares fell.

Profit will probably be $23 million to $25 million in the year ending Sept. 30, from $21 million last year, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. That’s less than Sanford forecast in May when it said second half profit would probably match the $14 million posted in the first half.

Sanford profits are being crimped as it faces high costs of operating its vessels while its catches fail to meet expectations in the Pacific skipjack tuna fishery and for toothfish in the remote South Georgia fishing zone. Slower growth in Marlborough mussels means those that are able to be harvested are generally smaller, resulting in lower revenue per kilogram and increased production costs. . .

Long haul to first consent for water scheme:

The company driving a large-scale irrigation and water storage scheme in North Canterbury hopes to have the initial stage operating in two or three years, now that it has got its first resource consent.

The $400 million scheme will take water mainly from the Hurunui River to irrigate up to 60,000 hectares of land on several hundred properties extending from north of the river to the coast. A series of dams will be built on a tributary of the Hurunui, the Waitohi, for water storage as well as hydro power.

Project manager Amanda Loeffen says it has been a long haul to get the first consent; initially the scheme wasn’t supported by everybody, and after a year and a half of discussions it has been completely redesigned. . .

Pins Colt Attracts Top Price at South Island Sale:

A striking colt by top-drawer stallion Pins has topped the New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Sale of Two-Year-Olds and Mixed Bloodstock, knocked down for $50,000.

Presented at Lot 29 from the draft of Phoenix Park, the colt is out of the 2005/06 New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series winner Ombre Rose and is bred on the Waikato Stud cross of Pins over O’Reilly that has proven successful in the past.

The hammer fell in favour of Joe Barnes of J & I Bloodstock Ltd, with the colt’s racing future likely to be in Hong Kong. . .


8/10

August 10, 2013

8/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.


Saturday’s smiles

August 10, 2013
The UN conducted an international telephone survey which asked a single question: “Could you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”The survey was a massive failure because of the following:

1. In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what “honest” meant.

2. In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.

3. In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant.

4. In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.

5. In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.

6. In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant.

7. In the USA they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant.

8. In New Zealand they said, “Free trade would solve that.”
9. In the UK they hung up as soon as they heard the Indian accent.

Coast to show support for mine

August 10, 2013

It is usually easier to get people motivated to oppose development than to support it.

But Environment West Coast was set up as a pro-mining lobby group and it plans to show their support for the Denniston mine in Westport today.

The news that the Environment Court has indicated their intention to issue final consent to Bathurst Resources to mine the old Escarpment workings at Denniston has been greeted with a sense of relief and a mood of celebration on the West Coast today.

Mindful that every-time a decision goes in favour of Bathurst, a flood of protests and legal challenges seem to erupt from the like of the Green Party and Forest and Bird, the relief is tempered with the thought “what are the opponents going to say or do next”.

Last month a Forest and Bird spokesperson said that “most West Coasters don’t support mining”.

Tomorrow, the people of Westport intend to disprove this by decorating the main street in Buller colours (red and blue) and displaying signs of support for Bathurst.


Employment growth requires confidence

August 10, 2013

Statistics New Zealand helpfully released the full suite of quarterly Labour market statistics on the same day this week.

The labour market is showing signs of improvement, Statistics New Zealand said today. Employment is growing slowly and unemployment is down from a year ago, but up slightly since the start of the year. Wage inflation continues to be restrained. . .

Employment continued to rise in the June 2013 quarter, following a positive March 2013 quarter. Over the June 2013 year, the number of people employed rose 0.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS), while demand for workers from established businesses rose 1.9 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES).

“This growth in employment lines up with the moderate economic recovery we’ve seen. Employment was falling over 2012 while growth in economic activity was slower,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

Employment growth continues to be led by Canterbury. “More people are employed in Canterbury, while we’re also seeing the number of hours worked rise across the other regions. This rise in hours outpaced the growth in employment in the rest of New Zealand,” Ms Ramsay said.

In the June 2013 quarter:

  • The number of people employed rose 0.4 percent, while filled jobs rose by 0.8 percent, after adjusting for usual seasonal patterns.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, up from 6.2 percent in the March 2013 quarter. 
  • Annual wage inflation was 1.7 percent.
  • Average hourly ordinary time earnings were up 0.2 percent over the quarter.

The unemployment rate for the June 2013 quarter edged up to 6.4 percent, down from 2012’s 6.9 percent average.

The number of unemployed grew but the number of people in employment grew faster.

There are still too many people looking for work but improving business confidence will translate into more jobs.

Some people think governments create jobs, they don’t.

Hon BILL ENGLISH: We get new jobs only when businesses do make the decision to invest another dollar and employ another person. Treasury noted that healthy levels of business confidence are translating into stronger hiring intentions and into investment intentions. Quoting from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research quarterly survey, Treasury notes that the labour market appears to be recovering, even though that recovery is gradual. A net 9 percent of firms intend to employ more staff over the next quarter—for instance, firms continue to report that skilled labour is difficult to find, particularly in Canterbury.

Governments can help provide the environment which makes doing business and employing people easier.

That is one of this government’s priorities because it’s businesses which create jobs.

To do that they need to have the confidence that their businesses can sustain the cost of wages and other expenses which come from employing people.


China admits breast is best

August 10, 2013

The breast is best message is wide spread in the west and any advertising of infant formula is careful not to suggest that it is superior to morhers’ milk.

But in China advertising of infant formula is aggressive .

However, the ill-wind of the contaminated whey protein concentrate has blown some good for Chinese babies – promotion of the benefits of breast feeding.

China’s rates of breast-feeding are among the world’s lowest. But health workers and the government are trying to revive the practice, and a drumbeat of safety scares over commercially produced milk is giving them new leverage. Visitors to Internet forums for new parents are posting comments about the benefits of breast-feeding and the potential hazards with formula.

“The risks of formula feeding are increasingly clear to the Chinese public,” Dr. Robert Scherpbier, chief of health and nutrition for UNICEF China, said in an email this week. His comment came after China’s government ordered a recall of formula imported from New Zealand because of contamination fears.

“How many infant formula crises do we still need to convince mothers and policy makers that breast is best?” Scherpbier said. . .

Some women choose not to breast feed, some who want to can’t. But some good will come out of the WPC contamination scare if more mothers who could, do.


Saturday soapbox

August 10, 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.


%d bloggers like this: