Rich appointed to APEC Business Advisory Council

October 4, 2013

Prime Minsiter John Key has announced that Maxine Simmons’ term on the APEC Business Advisory Council has been extended through to March 2014 and Katherine Rich will take over from her.

Ms Simmons is the Managing Director of BioCatalyst Ltd and been an APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) member since 2010.

“The extending of Ms Simmons term allows ABAC to retain her extensive skills for the upcoming APEC meeting and for the first ABAC meeting of 2014 in Auckland,’’ says Mr Key.

Mr Key also announced the appointment of Katherine Rich to ABAC from March 2014.

“Mrs Rich’s involvement in New Zealand’s food industry as well in agri-business, combined with her networks developed from her parliamentary experience, means she is well placed to contribute actively to ABAC’s and APEC’s agenda,” says Mr Key.

“Mrs Rich has extensive private and public sector experience which will prove especially useful for ABAC’s work with governments on trade facilitation and supply chain connectivity, which are both key priorities for New Zealand.”

The APEC Business Advisory Council is a network of business representatives from each of the 21 APEC economies that meet to develop business perspectives on the issues being discussed among APEC economies. . .

Fonterra has welcomed the appointment:

Fonterra Group Director of Communications, Kerry Underhill, said Mrs Rich’s extensive experience and understanding of the food industry and agri-business would serve New Zealand well on this influential international forum.

“Katherine has always been generous in sharing her expansive knowledge and networks, and providing wise counsel, with members of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council.

“NZ Inc will gain a valuable advocate through her participation in ABAC,” said Mr Underhill. . .

Katherine has an impressive mix of political and business experience which will be valuable on the ABAC.

She is a very good example of someone who makes a contribution as an MP and goes on to succeed in life outside politics.


Word of the day

October 4, 2013

Smile – form one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression; facial expression characterised by an upward curving of the corners of the mouth and indicating pleasure, amusement, or derision or scorn; pleasant or favourable disposition or aspect; express cheerful acceptance or equanimity; look with favour or approval; express with a smile; effect or accomplish with or as if with a smile.

smile


Booklet botch-up update

October 4, 2013

The public is responding to a call from Franks & Ogilvie for information on the scale of the election booklet botch-up:

“It appears that the problem could be more widespread than hoped” says Stephen Franks, a principal of the firm.  “We now know that whole families have received booklets missing up to 18 candidates.”

“Some New Zealanders overseas appear to have been badly affected.  For many the election booklet is their only source of information.  They can’t follow the campaigns in local media or go to meetings.”

“To be eligible for the prizes, booklets containing missing pages must be sent to us and received by Monday the 7th of October.  We encourage all New Zealanders to check that the information booklet they received has all of the pages, and contains every candidate that is listed on the voting paper.  Once voting is over and the books discarded, it will be much harder to ascertain whether the integrity of local body elections has been materially affected,” concludes Mr Franks.

It’s a sorry reflection on political engagement that information in the booklet could influence voters to any significant degree.

That it can, makes it vital that entries are correct and comprehensive.

Incorrect details or missing out even one candidate is concerning, that is is more widespread needs to be investigated.


Friday’s answers

October 4, 2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.?

2. Who said: Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution… the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.?

3. Who said: A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.?

4. Who said; ““Being democratic is not enough, a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right. In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law.”?

5. Have you voted yet, if not are you going to?

Points for answers:

Raymond scored 3ish. (the ish because as you’ll see below the quote attributed to Jefferson).

Andrei got three.

Alwyn scored 4 and a bonus for the extra quote.

Answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


Rural round-up

October 4, 2013

Whisky-fed salmon to boost sustainability:

The whisky and salmon industries in Scotland are about to embark on an innovative new partnership which will convert waste from whisky production into feed for salmon and fish farming.

Over 500 million litres of whisky are produced in the UK each year. But for every litre of whisky produced, up to 15 litres of potentially harmful waste can be generated1.

Chemical engineers from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland are looking to solve this problem by converting some of the waste into protein-rich feed, which could have the added benefit of providing a sustainable and economic supply of feedstock for the growing Scottish fish farming industry. . .

Synlait Milk – Champion Global Operator at Champion Canterbury Business Awards:

Synlait Milk has won the Champion Global Operator Award (large to medium enterprise) at the 2013 Champion Canterbury Business Awards. This is the second consecutive year that Synlait Milk has won this award.

“Winning the Champion Global Operator Award for the second year running is testament to our business strategy and the effort from all our staff,” says Synlait Milk Managing Director John Penno.

“The award caps off a great year for the Company in which we successfully began trading on the NZX Main Board, after completing a positive Initial Public Offering, in addition to posting an after tax profit of $11.5 million for FY13,” says Mr Penno. . .

Jobs under threat as meat company makes changes:

Jobs are on the line as the country’s biggest meat processor, Silver Fern Farms, makes adjustments to its North Island operations.

The co-operative is making changes as the new season gets underway with the prospect of lower stock numbers from the summer drought.

Silver Fern is consolidating beef processing in Waikato and negotiating to sell its skin processing plant near Shannon.

The firm is considering an offer from the Lowe Corporation to buy the ageing Shannon fellmongery, which employs more than 80 workers. . .

Nutricia Restates Quality and Safety Assurance with Extra Commitments:

Infant formula manufacturer Nutricia has restated its world-class commitment to quality, safety and transparent communication, with three extra commitments:

1. Extra controls on suppliers
2. Innovation to improve industry standards 3. Extra commitment to communication with parents and carers

These extra commitments enhance Nutricia’s established quality and safety procedures of rigorous testing, state-of-the-art manufacturing, comprehensive sanitation and hygiene, quality & safety accreditations, and traceability. . .

Pure ambitions for Angus brand – Tim Cronshaw:

A new-look angus brand providing premium payments for farmers will be announced at the World Angus Forum.

Details of the Angus Pure brand development have yet to be revealed, but will centre around new criteria being set for selecting meat carcasses. This will be unveiled during a secretariat meeting at the forum to be held in Rotorua from October 13 to 16.

Forum chairman Tim Brittain said the extension to the brand would offer opportunities for the New Zealand food service sector and for sales to the international marketplace. . .

The diary of a teenage bee – Raymond Huber:

A female bee lives for only about six weeks in summer. But it’s a life lived to the full because she’s constantly changing jobs: from cleaner to babysitter, builder, honey-chef, queen-groomer, guard, forager, undertaker and scout. Here is the diary of a teen bee:

Week 1    Dear Diary, So unfair! The work started the moment I hatched. I had to clean out my birth cell (ew!), then spend the whole week tidying the rest of the hive. My older sisters call me a ‘house bee’ and say I’m not allowed outside ‘til I’m 21 days. And I’m like, no way sister!

Week 2   Dear Diary, Yay! I’m a babysitter. The babies are sooo cute but totally exhausting. I have to check them 1300 times a day (okay, call me obsessive) to make sure they’re okay.  Meanwhile the comb cleaning goes on 4EVAH…

NZer secures top Irish horse for Cup:

Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs will be aimed at the Melbourne Cup after New Zealand bloodstock agent Paul Moroney secured the mare in a surprise deal.

Voleuse De Coeurs’ Cup price was slashed to $A17 from $A34 after the announcement she would leave Dermot Weld to be trained by Moroney’s brother Mike Moroney, who is based at Flemington.

The mare will be flown to Newmarket for her quarantine and is expected to arrive in Australia on October 19. . .


$10.3m loss for NPDC Tasmanian farms

October 4, 2013

New Plymouth District Council’s investment in dairying farming in Tasmania has been a costly one with Tasman Farms reporting a $10.3 million loss.

That loss has clipped a further $5m off New Plymouth District Council’s perpetual investment fund (Pif) in the last financial year and contributed to a $3.9m deficit for the council.  . .

The fund, managed by Taranaki Investment Management Limited (Timl), was created from the sale of the NPDC’s Powerco shares in 2004 for $259m. It peaked in value at $324m in 2008 but is now only worth $212.4m, partly because of money the council has taken out in annual release payments.

Timl has conceded the fund is overweighted in Tasman Farms and has commenced the process to reduce its exposure. . .

We visited the farms at Woolnorth in North West Tasmania last month. They’re owned by the Van Diemen’s Land Company in which Tasman Farms is a major shareholder.

Woolnorth covers 16,800 hectares with 12 rotary and one herringbone dairy shed. Fiver are operated by sharemilkers and eight by managers. A 2,500 hectare heifer raising operation on the property manages 10,000 heifers.

It was an impressive operation but several of us wondered about the wisdom of it as an investment for a district council.

There was a very strong rumour while we were there that Fonterra was interested in buying the farms but the company says it’s not.

 New Plymouth-owned Tasman Farms, Van Diemen’s Land Co’s parent, wants to raise up to $A180 million, with at least $A100 million in fresh equity, and has attracted a potential suitor from China but won’t see Fonterra at the negotiating table.

The New Zealand dairy exporter, which reports its annual results today, will not invest in the Tasmanian farm upgrade, which has reportedly attracted interest from China Investment Corp, the $US200 billion sovereign wealth fund.

“Fonterra has a very strong relationship with VDL as their processing partner but our investment interests in Tasmania are focused on our factories at Spreyton and Wynyard, rather than farms,” a Fonterra spokeswoman says. “We are supportive of any suppliers who are looking to grow and develop their operations.” . . .

Tasmania is often compared to New Zealand. We saw a lot of similarities, and a lot of Kiwi staff and technology on the farms.

Farming is usually a good long-term investment but it takes a lot of capital with small or no returns in the short to medium term, especially if a large-scale development is planned which is what VDL is doing.

NPDC has learned this and if I was a ratepayer I’d be backing the sale.


Apathy front-runner in council elections

October 4, 2013

Only 15.5 percent of eligible voters in Wellington have voted in the local body elections halfway through the election voting period.

The return rate is even worse in Auckland with only 12.6% of eligible people having voted so far.
Local body elections rarely get the same participation as general elections do but participation in both has been dropping.
The reasons for that are many but I think postal voting, and particularly the length of time people have to vote, might have some impact on council elections.
It’s too easy to miss the envelope or put it somewhere intending to get back to it then forget about it or lose it.
This must be very frustrating to candidates who are putting serious time and money into campaigning.
Some, perhaps many, of those who haven’t voted yet might intend to, but it looks like apathy is the front-runner in council elections at this stage.
There is no easy answer to turning that around, though Keeping Stock points to a Facebook Page Roy Williams for Mayor which seeks to spice the Wanganui mayoral race with satire.

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