Australia can learn from NZ – Hockey

August 24, 2013

Australian shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has praised the New Zealand economy and says Australia can learn lessons from the way it is managed.

“Your economy is doing so well. You’ve got your act together in New Zealand,” he told The Nation today. 

The Liberal Party member for North Sydney said the cost of doing business in New Zealand was 20 percent lower than in Australia but lower wages were not the only factor. . .

Australia needed to make prudent cuts to expenditure, pare back on waste and get rid of taxes that were a hand-break to growth, he said. . .

The learning isn’t one-way. The Labour party here could learn from what Hockey said too as it still hasn’t grasped the importance of prudent cuts to expenditure, paring back on waste and getting rid of taxes which are a hand-break to growth.

It still wants to spend more, waste more and tax more.

7/10

August 24, 2013

7/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.


Word of the day

August 24, 2013

Widdiful – one who deserves to be hanged.


Rural round-up

August 24, 2013

Farming Crises “hide ministry’s good work’ – Jon Morgan:

Ministry for Primary Industries officials are back in minister Nathan Guy’s good books.

Three months ago Guy upbraided the ministry for paperwork mistakes that left hundreds of tonnes of frozen meat stranded at China’s borders.

“I’m very disappointed in my officials,” he said. “Issuing export certification is really their core business and I’m disappointed in how this issue has come to bear.”

A ministry review pinpointed an unnotified change in templates for certifying exports as the cause of the holdup, which has now been cleared, and that this was compounded by a failure to inform senior managers and ministers quickly. . .

Fonterra achieves record GDT sales in August:

Fonterra today confirmed that it has achieved record sales and revenues from its two August GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) auctions.

Fonterra achieved its highest-ever monthly revenue through GDT in August, selling 109,664 metric tonnes, worth NZD 685 million.

Fonterra Chief Executive, Theo Spierings, said, “The past two GDT events show continued confidence in our products and strong demand from many of our key markets. . .

Opportunity for cross-agricultural collaboration:

Joint teaching and research in animal science and agronomy brought together Lincoln University and China’s Henan Agricultural University on Monday 19 August to discuss further opportunities to promote academic collaboration and exchange.

Located in Zhengzhou, China, Henan Agricultural University (HAU) is a world leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university that maintains its original guiding principles of serving the needs of the agricultural sector, rural areas and farmers. 

“Lincoln University has regularly received postgraduate students from Henan Agricultural University and the similarities of both institutions provide an excellent opportunity for further engagement,” says Lincoln University Director, International, Strategy and Marketing, Julia Innocente-Jones. . .

Red Meat Profit Partnership appoints Chairman:

The Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP), a consortium of red meat sector participants completing a Primary Growth Partnership agreement with the Crown, has appointed Malcolm Bailey as its Independent Chairman.

Bailey, well known in New Zealand agribusiness, is a former National President of Federated Farmers, a former Special Agricultural Trade Envoy for the Crown and a current Director of Fonterra. He is also a Westpac NZ Ltd Director, Chairman of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand and a member of the Food & Agriculture International Trade Policy Council (IPC), based in Washington DC. . .

Bootcamp brings together economic powerhouses:

The Primary Sector CEO Bootcamp conference over the last two days has been a major success, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

“Over the last two days in Wellington this conference has brought together 35 top agribusiness leaders and five Government agency Chief Executives into one room, representing 80% of all our primary sector exports,” says Mr Guy.

“The Bootcamp initiative started in 2012 and has involved CEOs working together to grow our export earnings and take advantage of major opportunities around the world.

“There is renewed determination to double our primary sector exports to $64 billion by 2025 and establish New Zealand as a premium producer of food and fibre. This is an ambitious but very achievable goal, with the right policies and leadership from both Government and industry. . .

MPI completes large compliance operation:

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Compliance Officers have just completed a far-reaching operation in the greater Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Coromandel regions.

Codenamed “Operation Nevada” officers spent two days last week undertaking a wide range of inspections targeting black market meat, black-market fish and maintaining a watch across the animal welfare sector. More than 50 MPI Compliance staff were involved in the operation which was carried out over the 14th and 15th of August.

MPI officers visited multiple sale yards across Waikato to liaise with farmers and other stakeholders and ensure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) requirements. A number of visits to farms were carried out for the animal welfare part of the operation reinforcing codes of welfare. . .

Ballance announces new Chief Financial Officer:

Ballance Agri-Nutrients has announced Richard Hopkins as its new Chief Financial Officer, succeeding David O’Reilly who has recently retired.

Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau says Mr O’Reilly made a significant contribution to the business throughout his 24 years of service, and he has left Ballance in good hands with Mr Hopkins.

Under Mr O’Reilly’s guidance as Chief Financial Officer Ballance has evolved and grown to become one of New Zealand’s ‘Top 40’ companies.

“When David started we were a relatively small business with revenue less than $100 million, and almost two decades later he has helped our revenue grow much closer to $1 billion. I thank him for his immense contribution and dedication to the co-operative,” said Mr Bilodeau. . .


Saturday’s smiles

August 24, 2013
The devout cowboy lost his favourite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range.
Three weeks later, a cow walked up to him carrying the Bible in her mouth.
The cowboy couldn’t believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the cow’s mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!”
“Not really,” said the cow. “Your name is written inside the cover.”
And another:
Two cows were grazing in a paddock.
One cow turned to the other cow and said, “Moooooo!”
“Hey”, the other cow replied…. “I was just about to say the same thing!”

Trouble outside t’ mill

August 24, 2013

Fonterra is facing protests outside its factory in Sri Lanka:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today taken the precautionary step of temporarily suspending its consumer operations in Sri Lanka because of the unstable situation at the moment.

Chief Executive Theo Spierings said Fonterra has two immediate priorities: protecting its people, and protecting its farmer shareholders’ assets.

“The temporary suspension is the right thing to do.  It is a precautionary measure to ensure our 755 people working there are safe.   We have closed our plants and office in Sri Lanka, and have asked our people to stay at home.

“At the same time, we must do all that we can to protect our farmer shareholders’ investment in Fonterra’s Sri Lanka manufacturing and commercial operations.”

Mr Spierings said Fonterra has provided every possible assurance to the Sri Lankan authorities about the safety and quality of Fonterra’s products, and remains committed to the Sri Lankan people.

“Recent events, however, have made it difficult to maintain day-to-day operations, and we need to get them resolved.

“Fonterra Sri Lanka is currently subject to a court Enjoining Order which has shut down our ability to sell product, advertise it or make public statements in any way with customers or consumers in Sri Lanka.

“Legal action is underway that is aimed at resolving the Enjoining Order.

“We are also working with Sri Lankan and New Zealand government authorities on a long-term sustainable solution for our Sri Lankan customers, communities and dairy sector,” said Mr Spierings.

Sri Lanka is one of the key markets for the New Zealand dairy industry.  The New Zealand dairy industry has been providing high quality dairy nutrition to people across Sri Lanka for more than 35 years.

Fonterra also plays an important role in helping develop the local dairy industry.  Earlier this year the Co-operative launched a Farmer Training and Education Programme to help develop dairy farming skills in Sri Lanka.

August has been a good month for the co-operative’s GlobalDairyTrade auction but that aside, this has probably been the worst month Fonterra has had since it was formed.


Don’t walk away from 100% pure

August 24, 2013

Lincoln University Professor of Tourism, David Simmons, has warns the tourism sector that it cannot walk away from its current brand proposition of ‘100% Pure New Zealand’:

It is, however, the tourism sector’s opportunity to ‘walk the talk’ through measuring, managing and telling the story of its particular pathways to sustainability.  Given our decreasing global standing for environmental quality (especially on a per capita basis) it is time for all sectors and all New Zealanders to work together.

“A decade ago New Zealand was a global pioneer in environmental reporting for the tourism sector,” says Professor Simmons, who went on to cite leaders such as Kaikoura District Council, Auckland Airport, as well as others from the accommodation sector, such as the Langham (Auckland) and Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park; all of whom had achieved gold status on an international tourism certification scheme. 

When asked about the broad range of enviro-labels already in the tourism sector, Professor Simmons said his personal recommendation was for the ‘EarthCheck’ system because of its scientific credentials.

He urged the sector to work with the Australian based ‘EarthCheck’ to incorporate their global learnings to support New Zealand’s platform. 

He added that, while New Zealand had made a tentative start with Qualmark green, “this standard now needed a review to lift the sector’s performance and stay ahead of our competitors.” 

While there was much comment at the conference on the agricultural sector’s woes and the consequences for the tourism sector, Professor Simmons said that little would be achieved by throwing brickbats at them.  From his position at Lincoln University he was aware of the millions of dollars being spent on such things as irrigation refinements, and nutrient and waste management in an effort to boost production in a sustainable way. 

“We are all part of the single New Zealand brand,” he said, and urged the tourism sector to work cooperatively with all sectors; noting that “there is a real opportunity for the tourism sector to take a lead position in this space.”

How many advertising slogans are meant to be taken literally?

Is anything, anywhere 100% pure?

The 100% pure slogan refers to the country’s natural beauty and has been extended to other things such as 100% pure adventure.

It’s aspirational and plays on our strengths.

It doesn’t mean we get everything right nor that we shouldn’t be working hard for improvement where it’s needed.

But it’s still a slogan that works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4MCY1BfM868


Number four

August 24, 2013

Jim Bolger was Prime Minister when Helen Clark became leader of the Labour Party, and the first woman to lead the Opposition.

She almost won the 1996 election but it was run under MMP and Winston Peters allowed Bolger to remain in power.

Jenny Shipley deposed Bolger and became our first female Prime Minister but Clark won the next election.

Shipley lost the leadership to Bill English but he lost the next election.

He usually gets the blame for that but it wasn’t all bad. It did get rid of much of the dead wood – those long serving MPs who ought to have resigned to let fresh blood contest the election but didn’t. He should also get credit for the rule changes which under his leadership, with the help of then president Judy Kirk and general manager Steven Joyce, made National a much stronger party and laid the foundation for its eventual return to power.

Don Brash ousted Bill, boosted membership and funds, and nearly won the 2005 election.

When Brash resigned, John Key won without a fight, and with a unified caucus helped in no small part by his deputy, English, who was, and is, 100% loyal to the leader and party. Key also had, and has maintained, strong, unified membership and good finances.

When Key won the 2008 election, Clark resigned and handed a poisoned chalice to Phil Goff. He, and the caucus, didn’t learn from what happened with National, kept most of the dead wood and lost the 2011 election.

Goff resigned and David Shearer took over, still saddled with the dead wood, disunity in the caucus, the shadowy influence of Clark and dissent in the wider party.

Labour’s about to elect the fourth leader to face the Prime Minister but changing the leader won’t be enough.

The caucus is still full of dead wood and further damaged by disunity.

Membership is low, it’s not united either and party finances are far from healthy. Clark’s shadow still looms large and there’s also the spectre of the unions which most on the right and many in the centre distrust.

Helen Clark defeated outlasted four National leaders and lost to the fifth who had a strong, unified caucus, a strong, unified party and little competition in Opposition from the wee parties.

Labour is about to elect the fourth leader to face Key but he will be fighting fires on several fronts.

He’ll have to unite his caucus and his party and also stand head and shoulders above Russel Norman and Winston Peters who’ve been doing a much better job of leading the Opposition than then man he’ll succeed.

Number four might be able to do what the three before him haven’t, but winning the leadership will be the first and easy step in a steep and challenging climb.


Saturday soapbox

August 24, 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.


August 24 in history

August 24, 2013

79   Mount Vesuvius erupted. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae were buried in volcanic ash.

1198 King Alexander II of Scotland, was born (d. 1249).

1200  King John of England married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.

1215  Pope Innocent III declared Magna Carta invalid.

1349 Six thousand Jews were killed in Mainz  after being blamed for the bubonic plague.

1391  Jews  massacred in Palma de Mallorca.

1456  The printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed.

1511 Afonso de Albuquerque of Portugal conquered Malacca, the capital of the Sultanate of Malacca.

1561 Willem of Orange married duchess Anna of Saxony.

1591 Robert Herrick, English poet, was born  (d. 1674).

1662 Act of Uniformity required England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.

1759 William Wilberforce, English abolitionist, was born (d. 1833).

1814  British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burned down the White House and several other buildings.

1815 The modern Constitution of the Netherlands was signed.

1821 The Treaty of Córdoba is signed Mexico, concluding the Mexican War of Independence.

1857  The Panic of 1857 began.

1870  The Wolseley Expedition reaches Manitoba to end the Red River Rebellion.

1875 Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel.

1878  The Governor, the Marquess of Normanby, formally opened Wellington’s steam tram service, which was reportedly the first to operate in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wellington steam-tram service opened

1891  Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera.

1898Count Muravyov, Foreign Minister of Russia presented a rescript that convoked the First Hague Peace Conference.

1899  Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer, was born (d. 1986).

1924 Jimmy Gardner , British actor, was born (d. 2010).

1927 David Ireland, Australian author, was born.

1929 Yasser Arafat, Palestinian leader, was born (d. 2004).

1929  Betty Dodson, American feminist and sex educator, was born.

1931 – Resignation of the United Kingdom’s Second Labour Government. Formation of the UK National Government.

1932 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).

1936 A. S. Byatt, English novelist, was born.

1936  The Australian Antarctic Territory was created.

1937  In the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrendered to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement.

1938  – David Freiberg, American bassist (Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Starship), was born.

1942 : The Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō was sunk and US carrier Enterprise heavily damaged.

1945  Ken Hensley, English musician (Uriah Heep), was born.

1949  The treaty creating NATO went into effect.

1950  Edith Sampson became the first black U.S. delegate to the UN.

1954  The Communist Control Act went into effect. The American Communist Party was outlawed.

1954 Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, president of Brazil, committed suicide and was succeeded by João Café Filho.

1960  A temperature of −88°C (−127°F) was measured in Vostok, Antarctica — a world-record low.

1963  The 200-metre freestyle was swum in less than 2 minutes for the first time by Don Schollander (1:58).

1967  Aa group of hippies led by Abbie Hoffman temporarily disrupted trading at the NYSE by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing a cease in trading as the brokers scramble to grab them up.

1968  France exploded its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world’s fifth nuclear power.

1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1991  Ukraine declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida as a Category 5 Hurricane.

1995 Computer software developer Microsoft released their Windows 95 operating system.

1998 – First RFID human implantation tested in the United Kingdom.

2000  Argon fluorohydride, the first Argon compound ever known, was discovered at the University of Helsinki by Finnish scientists.

2001 – Air Transat Flight 236 ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean and made an emergency landing in the Azores.

2004  89 passengers died when two airliners exploded after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport. The explosions were caused by suicide bombers.

2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term “planet” so that Pluto is considered a Dwarf Planet.

2010 – In San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 72 illegal immigrants were killed by Los Zetas.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: