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.


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.

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