Lackwit – addlehead, beetlebrain, blockhead, bull head, dimwit, dunderhead, dunderpate, giddyhead, halfwit; a dull or witless person.
Global Dairy Trade’s price index rose 2.4% in this morning’s auction.
The price of anhydrous milk fat increased 2.7%; butter was up 0.1%; butter milk was up 2.7%; cheddar increased 2.3%; lactose rose 14.8%; milk protein concentrate dropped -3.9%; rennet casein was down .8% , skim milk increased 3.9% and whole milk powder was up 2.3%.
Air New Zealand has had two wins at the World Travel Awards.
Air New Zealand has been voted Australasia’s Leading Airline for the fifth year in a row and its new Koru Lounge at Christchurch International Airport has scooped the prize for Australasia’s Leading Airline Lounge. . .
Air New Zealand is our first choice when we travel and it’s good to know that it’s not just parochialism which makes us think it’s the best.
In August Air New Zealand announced a $182 million profit, more than twice the previous year’s.
Good service and good business are a winning combination and should make it an attractive investment when the government sells-down some of its share in the company.
Fonterra today confirmed that it is in a dispute resolution process with Danone following the whey protein concentrate precautionary recall initiated in August this year.
The discussions between Fonterra and Danone had been confidential with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable commercial outcome however some aspects of these discussions have been made public this morning in the press.
Fonterra confirms that the discussions remain ongoing but strongly denies any legal liability to Danone in relation to the recall.
A coffin, handbags, pet rugs and digitally printed fabrics made from wool are among exhibits that feature in Wool Expo 2013 that takes to the road this month.
A partnership between the Campaign for Wool, PGG Wrightson Wool, and Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, the expo begins in Gisborne in two weeks and works it’s way down the east of the north island to end in Masterton in the middle of November.
Some revolutionary and innovative woollen concepts are explored, exhibited and demonstrated in the expo that will be based in PGG Wrightson’s retail stores in the six centres where the road show stops.
A coffin made of wool is featured. The idea isn’t new – back in the 1600s, in a bid to bolster Britain’s textile industry the British parliament passed a law requiring all corpses to be buried in a woollen shroud. Spin forward to 2009 when a prototype and sturdier wool coffin led to the present version. . .
Speech to the Primary Growth Partnership expo – Nathan Guy:
. . . Innovation has been a hallmark of our primary industries for well over a century.
To become a world leader, the sector has always made great use of science, technology – and innovation.
Just consider the dramatic shift in the way the sector produces, processes, markets and transports food products compared to even a few decades ago.
For example, we now produce the same amount of sheep meat today as we did in the early 1980s but with around half the number of sheep.
The global food market of the 21st century is changing rapidly and there are great opportunities for our food sector, particularly in Asia. . .
Federated Farmers is pleased to welcome Martyn Dunne CNZM as the new Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
“Martyn Dunne brings a completely new dimension to the leadership of the MPI,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Vice-President.
“Mr Dunne brings a huge wealth of experience being New Zealand’s current High Commissioner in Canberra, the immediate past Comptroller of Customs and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service and before that, a Major-General in the New Zealand Army. . .
Federated Farmers policy resource is being built up by several new appointments including a new dedicated regional policy advisor to be based in its Invercargill office.
“Federated Farmers is serious about meeting the needs of our members and is investing is capability where it is needed,” says Conor English, Federated Farmers Chief Executive.
“We have excellent and well qualified staff and I am pleased to announce two new policy staff. . .
A history-rich farm once visited by Prince Charles for a private day’s trout fishing has been placed on the market.
Macdonald’s Farm near Galatea in the Eastern Bay of Plenty is a sprawling 907 hectare sheep and beef breeding/finishing property. The Whirinaki River, which runs rich with rainbow and brown trout, is on the western boundary for the farm.
Prince Charles was flown into the farm during the royal family visit here in 1970 to celebrate the bicentennial discovery of New Zealand by Captain James Cook. . .
Canterbury milk nutrition company Synlait Milk is supportive of the investment by AgResearch in its campus infrastructure.
Synlait Milk Managing Director Dr John Penno says there is recognition of the growing importance of Canterbury as an agricultural powerhouse.
“Canterbury is New Zealand’s fastest growing milk supply region, with production growth at an average 11% per season for the last 12 seasons. We acknowledge the technical challenges this growth brings, in particular farmers ability to manage their environmental footprint. . .
The wine industry is the first to trial a new national environmental, economic and social performance Dashboard system.
Led by The Agribusiness Group Ltd and funded by government and industries, the $11 million New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard project will provide a sustainability assessment and reporting tool for the primary industry sectors.
The Dashboard project will deliver tools that provide farmers and growers with crucial information on the environmental, economic and social performance of their vineyards or farms. Information from key performance indicators will be used to improve results in areas such as energy use, nitrogen loss, carbon footprint and maintenance of biodiversity. . .
Another two Gold Medals and a Trophy for Johanneshof Cellars at the recent New Zealand International Wine Show held over the weekend, reinforces the opinion that this Boutique Winery is on a record breaking streak. Just six weeks ago Wine Makers Edel Everling and Warwick Foley were on the winners podium at the 2013 Spiegelau International Wine Competition, accepting four medals and 3 trophies, including joint ‘Champion Producer of the Show’. This time the Johanneshof Cellars 2011 Noble Late Harvest Riesling and the 2012 Marlborough Gewürztraminer received Gold Medal honours with the Gewürztraminer being awarded overall Trophy.
How does this unique winery, nestled in a tiny valley on the outskirts of the seaport town of Picton on New Zealand’s South Island, continually have the spotlight shined on them? . . .
One of the oldest and most prized vineyards in New Zealand, Clayvin Vineyard in Marlborough, has signed a long-term lease to Giesen Wines.
The coveted vineyard, which is more than 20 years old, covers 13.4ha in the sought after Wairau Valley, and has supplied grapes for a string of award-winning wines over the years. Developed in 1991, Clayvin was Marlborough’s first commercial hillside vineyard.
Wholly organic, the block comprises 7.8ha of Pinot Noir vines, 3.36ha of Chardonnay, 1ha of Syrah, and another hectare of younger Sauvignon Blanc vines that are not yet in production. . .
The 2013 vintage of Cloudy Bay’s international benchmark wine is now available to fine wine lovers worldwide from today Tuesday October 1st. An outstanding summer with excellent growing conditions has enabled Cloudy Bay winemakers to craft New Zealand’s most precious summer flavours into their Sauvignon Blanc 2013 vintage.
Widely regarded as the quintessential expression of the acclaimed Marlborough wine region – which enjoys the longest hours of sunshine of any place in New Zealand, Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc is noted for its vibrant aromatics, layers of pure fruit flavours and fine structure. . .
I have no doubt people will agree when they work out that would increase their take home pay.
However, spot the irony:
Opposition ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway said the corporation’s big surplus was gouged from the pay packets of hard working New Zealanders.
This is a spokesman from Labour, the party that contributed to ACC’s financial liabilities by adding more categories of beneficiaries without increasing funding sufficiently.
His party has fought tax cuts which leave more in the pay packets of hard working New Zealanders.
And his party is going to increase taxes to gouge more from those same pay packets of the same hard working New Zealanders and add a Capital Gains Tax too.
That’s not irony, that’s hypocrisy.
Repair crews working on damaged irrigators in Canterbury are racing the clock as more gale force winds are forecast.
More than 800 irrigators were damaged in last month’s storms.
They’re needed for water and even more urgently to spray effluent on paddocks.
“We ask where our vegetables are grown, and where our fruit comes from but no-one ever asks where their flowers are from.”
As part of a new campaign from the National Flower Promotion Group to raise awareness of our local flower industry, Rebecca is enlisting a number of well-known faces to help spread the word and encourage Kiwis to support their local flower industry.
“New Zealand is blessed with the perfect conditions for growing flowers,” Rebecca says. “Clean air, water and the intensity of our light all contribute to the production of high quality flowers.”
Canadian born Rebecca worked as a flower importer in her own country before coming to New Zealand.
“New Zealand is so lucky to have such a vibrant industry and talented growers delivering an exceptionally diverse range of quality product. Consumers here are spoilt for choice when it comes to variety, availability and price.”
This spin on the culinary “Buy Local Buy Fresh” is equally applicable to the NZ flower industry where year round growers are delivering daily direct to market. . .
New Zealand grown flowers are beautiful and they’ll be fresher than imported ones.
But a lot of flower producers are exporters too and free trade is a two-way street.
It would be hypocritical to campaign for consumers to buy local here while encouraging people in other countries to buy our exports there.
New Zealand technology is set to revolutionise the international fishing industry.
Imagine if every fish landed on a trawler was alive, in perfect condition and small fish, sharks and other species could be safely released underwater before a catch was lifted on-board.
The first underwater images ever released of revolutionary New Zealand fishing technology show how a partnership between New Zealand scientists and three Kiwi fishing companies will radically change the global fishing industry and make that a reality for wildfish harvesting.
The technology known as ‘Precision Seafood Harvesting’ does away with traditional trawl nets and, instead, sees fish contained and swimming comfortably underwater inside a large flexible PVC liner where they can be sorted for the correct size and species before being brought on-board the fishing vessel.
The break-through design of the harvesting system allows fishing vessels to target specific species and fish size and greatly increases protection for small fish that can swim free through ‘escape portals’ and non-target fish (by-catch), which are released unharmed.
New Zealand Snapper in PSH Technology
Once on the deck, the fish are still swimming inside the liner, in perfect condition, meaning fresher, more sustainable fish for consumers and higher value products for fishing companies using the technology.
Precision Seafood Harvesting is the commercialisation phase of nearly ten years of New Zealand research. Fishing companies Aotearoa Fisheries, Sanford and Sealord are investing $26 million into the project under a Primary Growth Partnership with the New Zealand Government, which is matching the industry investment. Scientists at Plant & Food Research are partnering with the fishing companies to develop and trial the technology on commercial fishing vessels.
Sanford CEO and Chairman of Seafood New Zealand, Eric Barratt, who unveiled the new technology for the first time to the New Zealand fishing industry at its annual conference in Auckland today, says the Precision Seafood Harvesting programme was set up in April 2012 and will run for six years to commercialise new technology in the New Zealand fishing industry.
“This is the biggest step forward for commercial fishing in 150 years. What we’ve developed in New Zealand has huge benefits for fish stocks, the environment, consumers and New Zealand’s seafood industry. In the process we’re set to change the global fishing industry for the better.”
Alistair Jerrett, from Plant and Food Research says the new way of harvesting wildfish is a close collaboration between his team and the New Zealand seafood industry ‘who want to do things better’. “This is New Zealand science in action and the industry partners deserve a pat on the back for bringing fishing into the 21st century.”
Jerrett’s team built their own underwater cameras to see into traditional trawl nets. He says the ‘aha moment’ was asking: “Why do we have to strain these fish out, why do we have to exhaust them, why do we have to damage them during harvest – the new system changes all of that.
“One of the objectives is to make sure that any animal that reaches the surface, if we can’t select it out underwater, is delivered back to the sea unharmed.” He says this is true for bigger animals as well, like rays, sharks or any animal that is inadvertently captured.
“In terms of selectivity we design everything to make sure unwanted animals are discharged as fast as possible at depth – we don’t want them to even see the light of day.”
“When you realise you can design a highly selective harvest, you are winning in many different ways. You’re winning in unexplored properties, values we haven’t realised, and you’re producing a humane harvesting system.”
The head of Aotearoa Fisheries, Carl Carrington says it’s good news for sustainability by improving New Zealand’s credentials and “enhances our access to sustainability-conscious consumers, improves product taste and quality, and is good for value growth”.
That’s echoed by Sealord CEO, Graham Stuart who believes Precision Harvesting is an opportunity for New Zealand to ‘lead the world with another great kiwi innovation’. “Seeing Hoki landed from a depth of 300 meters, alive and in fantastic condition is remarkable and will totally change how our fish are brought to market.”
Sanford, Sealord and Aotearoa have been actively trialing the new technology on their fishing vessels for the past six months. Vessel Manager at Aotearoa Fisheries, Nathan Reid says fisherman onboard their vessels are excited about the condition of the fish when they are landed. “Replacing old trawl technology is really important for the industry. We’re going to see better stock recruitment and better stock in the water – it’s better for everyone.”
Sealord too is seeing the positive impact of the technology on its crews. Bill Healey is the Vessel Manager for Sealord. He says crews were sceptical at first, but that’s all changed. “When we talk to them now, when we see their reactions to the fish coming up, we know we’re onto something. I know we’re doing something unique and great when I look at the crews”.
Greg Johansson from Sanford says the new harvesting technology is just the start. “This will lead on to changes in vessel designs and layouts, the way we handle fish and get it to consumers. The opportunities are endless.”
“The customers should really enjoy the story of how this fish was caught, the sustainability, the environmental impact of this technology versus other forms of harvesting.
“This will increase the value of all New Zealand seafood products when the global markets see that we’re taking a big step forward by using a more environmentally-friendly way of harvesting fish.”
Recreational fisher and host of the popular “Gone Fishin” television show, Graeme Sinclair has seen the technology in action and says it’s ‘the future of commercial fishing.’ Sinclair says there’s a tendency with recreational anglers to assume that the commercial industry is not doing anything about problems such as dumping and mortality.
“I’ve seen some innovations and some clever buggers in my time, and I think this is revolutionary: it’s Kiwi, it’s clearly innovative, and what it does for mortality and for targeting specific species is incredibly exciting. It alleviates a whole lot of issues all in one hit.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the technology, which was developed through the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme.
“The Precision Seafood Harvesting project is developing new net technology which is world-leading. It has the potential for huge economic and environmental benefits. . . .
“New high-tech equipment is being developed, with the aim of allowing fish to be sorted by size and species before even leaving the water.
“This will allow smaller and non-targeted fish to escape, reducing wastage and by-catch. At the same time it allows fish to be landed healthier and in better condition, which will improve their value.
“Being able to target specific fish has the potential to revolutionise commercial fishing,” says Mr Guy.
This is an amazing development which will change the seafood industry internationally, make commercial fishing much more sustainable and provide a significant economic boost for New Zealand.
The government and banks have agreed to a proposal to financially restructure Solid Energy Finance Minister Bill English and Minister for State Owned Enterprises Tony Ryall announced.
“As we have said previously, ministers were not prepared to expose taxpayers to on-going losses if Solid Energy’s core business was not considered viable,” Mr English says.
“However, we also said that we were prepared to provide support for the company if there was a reasonable chance it could be made viable, and we expected the lenders to also contribute to that recovery,” he says.
Mr Ryall says that although the company still has a lot of work to do, and market conditions remain challenging, the point has now been reached where a financial restructuring proposal can be formalised with Solid Energy’s key lenders.
“The proposed restructuring will give the company more time to work through the issues it faces, as it continues to focus on its core coal business,” Mr Ryall says.
The proposal includes:
- A restructuring of the bulk of the company’s bank facilities.
- The company issuing $100 million in non-voting redeemable preference shares – $75 million to key lenders in exchange for part of the debt owed to them, and $25 million to the Crown in exchange for cash.
- A secured working capital loan of $50 million provided by the Crown, repayable within three years.
- A secured land mortgage of $50 million provided by the Crown, repayable within three years.
Ministers have also agreed to a secured standby facility of up to $30 million, provided by the Crown, if required.
“Holders of the company’s medium term notes are being asked to agree to waive some of their rights to enable the company to put the financial restructuring proposal forward to lenders,” Mr Ryall says.
“The process to formally adopt the proposal is now underway and is expected to be complete by the end of the month.”
Mr English says the Government’s financial statements for the year to June 30 2013, to be issued next Monday, will include the financial impact of the proposed agreement, including the $25 million cash injection and $100 million of loan facilities and the $30 million standby facility.
“After many months of complex discussions between the Crown, the company and its key lenders we welcome this next step to move the company forward,” Mr English says.
The Green Party shows its idealogical blindness by calling this privatisation by stealth.
Four foreign-owned banks – ANZ, BNZ, ASB and Westpac – will take a $75 million ownership stake in Solid Energy in return for writing off debt. . .
Banks are in fact are taking an expensive haircut.
Banks that lent unsustainable amounts of debt to state-owned coal miner Solid Energy are taking a $75 million “hair-cut”, dressed up as an issue of redeemable preference shares that may never be repaid. . .
English signalled in February, when the problems were announced, that the government expected the banks to take a share of the burden of adjustment created by Solid Energy investing too heavily in experimental new energy forms.
Had the company not been an SOE banks would have been a lot more wary about lending so much to it.
Now they know the government isn’t going to be prepared to carry the full costs of an SOE’s losses they will be more cautious about lending to them in future.
Rather than complaining that this is privatisation by stealth we should be grateful banks are sharing the loss and questioning why the government owned a company like this in the first place.
It’s evidence in the case for privatisation not against it.
ACC Minister Judith Collins is questioning ACC funding the CTU to provide injury prevention training:
“The Council of Trade Unions’ (CTU) published annual accounts show the CTU has been paid up to $1.3 million (highest year was 2009) each year by ACC. In 2012 the total paid to CTU under three contracts was $669,000,” Ms Collins says.
“In the biggest contract shown in CTU accounts, ACC pays the CTU to provide training to health and safety representatives that large employers (over 30 staff) are legally obliged to have.
“Currently this is free-of-charge to these large businesses – it remains to be seen why ACC and levy payers should have to pay for this.
“It is not clear to me whether the provision of free training services for big business to carry out their legal obligation, is a good or fair use of levy payers’ money.”
The CTU and two other entities have similarly arranged contracts getting paid by ACC per person trained. The current fee is around $360 per person trained but the CTU has a higher maximum earning potential.
“ACC is investing up to $40 million a year on injury prevention. I’m advised all injury prevention investment is being reviewed to ensure it is evidence based and achieves results,” Ms Collins says.
It is perfectly reasonable to ask why businesses are funded for something they are legally obliged to have and a review to ensure that money spent on injury prevention is evidence based and achieves results is sensible.
ACC is back on a sound financial footing and its annual report annual report, released yesterday, shows a net surplus of $4.9 billion, which was $3.6 billion ahead of budget.
Chair Paula Rebstock said:
. . . the surplus would allow ACC to reduce the deficit between its assets and the lifetime cost of every claim on the books by $4.9 billion to $2.3 billion.
“The scheme is well on track to meet its objective of being financially sustainable – the point at which assets match forward costs – by 2019.
“More importantly, ACC’s strong performance has given the Government the confidence to signal that it believes decreases in ACC levies in 2014-15, and again in 2015-16, are sustainable. That is great news for all New Zealanders, particularly as it follows a $630 million reduction in levies for households and businesses in 2012-13.” . . .
“To ensure we maintain sustainability we will continue to evolve the Corporation. We will greatly increase our spending on injury prevention, and we will embark on a programme designed to improve outcomes for our clients through better case management and rehabilitation services. . .
Increasing spending on injury prevention is commendable but it provides an even stronger argument for a review which ensures that money currently being spent is well spent.
1187 Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captured Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.
1263 The battle of Largs between Norwegians and Scots.
1535 Jacques Cartier discovered Montreal.
1552 Conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible.
1780 John André, British Army officer, was hanged as a spy by American forces.
1789 George Washington sent the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification.
1800 Nat Turner, American leader of slave uprising, was born (d. 1831)
1814 Battle of Rancagua: Spanish Royalists troops under Mariano Osorio defeated rebel Chilean forces of Bernardo O’Higgins and Jose Miguel Carrera.
1851 The pasilalinic-sympathetic compass was demonstrated but proved to be a fake.
1852 William Ramsay, Scottish chemist who discovered noble gases, was born (d. 1916).
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Saltville – Union forces attacked Saltville, Virginia, but were defeated by Confederate troops.
1889 In Colorado, Nicholas Creede struck silver during the last great silver boom of the American Old West.
1890 Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1977).
1904 Graham Greene, British novelist, was born (d. 1991).
1907 Alexander R. Todd, Baron Todd, Scottish chemist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1997).
1919 US President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke, leaving him partially paralysed.
1921 Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born (d. 2000).
1924 The Geneva Protocol was adopted as a means to strengthen the League of Nations.
1925 John Logie Baird performed the first test of a working television system.
1928 The “Prelature of the Holy Cross and the Work of God”, commonly known as Opus Dei, was founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá.
1938 Tiberias massacre: Arabs murdered 20 Jews.
1941 Pilot Officer Carlyle Everiss – a New Zealand fighter pilot saved the lives of countless people in the Scottish village of Cowie by staying with his crippled plane to steer it away from houses.
1941 World War II: Operation Typhoon, Germany began an all-out offensive against Moscow.
1944 World War II: Nazi troops ended the Warsaw Uprising.
1948 Donna Karan, American fashion designer, was born.
1949 Annie Leibovitz, American photographer, was born.
1950 Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz was first published
1950 Mike Rutherford, English musician (Genesis), was born.
1951 Sting, English musician and actor, was born.
1959 The anthology series The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS television.
1967 Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African-American justice of United States Supreme Court.
1968 A peaceful student demonstration in Mexico City culminated in the Tlatelolco massacre.
1970 A plane carrying the Wichita State University football team, administrators, and supporters crashed in Colorado killing 31 people.
1986 – ‘Slice of Heaven’ hits No. 1.
1990 A Chinese airline Boeing 737-247 was hijacked; after landing at Guangzhou, it crashed into two airliners on the ground, killing 132 people.
1992 The Carandiru Massacre after a riot in the Carandiru Penitentiary in São Paulo, Brazil.
1996 The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments were signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
1996 An AeroPerú Boeing 757 crashed in Pacific Ocean shortly after takeoff from Lima, Peru, killing 70.
1997 European Union: The Amsterdam Treaty was signed.
2002 The Beltway sniper attacks began.
2004 American Samoa joined the North American Numbering Plan.
2005 Ethan Allen Boating Accident: The Ethan Allen tour boat capsizes on Lake George, killing twenty people.
2006 Five school girls were murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.
2009 The Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland was approved at the second attempt, permitting the state to ratify the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon.
Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia