Word of the day

October 9, 2013

Eructation – belching; burping, ructus; eruption: (of volcanos) pouring out fumes or lava; a deposit formed in this way.


Rural round-up

October 9, 2013

Woman wins in rare shearing feat – Sarah Marquet:

For the first time since 1985, a woman has won the senior shearing title at the New Zealand Merino Shears, held in Alexandra on Saturday.Te Atakura Crawford (26), originally of Te Karaka, near Gisborne, but working in Australia, had only been back in New Zealand a few hours before she picked up the handpiece and took on 28 other shearers from around the country.

She was not the fastest shearer in the field but made up for it in quality points, something women are known for, according to New Zealand Merino Shearing Society president Mervyn Kinaston. . .

How dung beettles will improve NZ farms –  Dan Satherley:

Around 500 dung beetles have been released in the south Wairarapa as part of a plan to improve the soil on dairy farms.

This release will be the second to take place in New Zealand, after a Southland farm introduced dung beetles to its soil last month.

The big question is, what they will actually do for our ecosystem?

Bug expert Ruud Kleinpaste says the species being introduced into the North Island are “master diggers” that will return nutrients in cow manure right back into the soil where they fall.

“Nature knows no waste – whatever you and I may think of as waste, they think is a resource,” he said on Firstline this morning. . .

Silver Fern Farms addresses capacity issues, but no progress on meat industry restructure – Allan Barber:

The only meat industry capacity rationalisation evident so far is beef not sheepmeat related. Silver Fern Farms has announced the closure of the beef chain at its Waitoa plant which it bought 18 months ago from Wallace Corporation in, what CEO Keith Cooper said at the time, was an essential contribution to the meat industry’s sustainability.

The logic behind the purchase was to take out a competitor and to provide cover for the loss of Te Aroha’s capacity from a fire. According to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Winders the plant has fulfilled its purpose, but will be retained specifically for bobby calf processing for 12 weeks of the year. Management and veterinary oversight will be provided from Te Aroha which will not be operating at full capacity during the calf season.

Although Waitoa will be mothballed for the remaining 40 weeks of the year, it can be restarted on beef in the event of a drought. There will be 17 salaried positions made redundant as a result of the transfer of beef processing and management to Te Aroha. . .

Forest growers to elect first board:

The Forest Growers Levy Trust, the new organisation representing the interests of all plantation forest owners, large and small, is calling for nominations for its first elected board.

Chair Geoff Thompson says the referendum board of the Trust has applied to associate minister for primary industries Jo Goodhew for a commodity levy on logs and some other plantation forest products. The levy order, which is expected to be issued shortly, will establish a compulsory levy that will apply from 1 January 2014.

“In anticipation of this, elections are being held for the Trust board that will administer the funds raised by the levy. Nominations will be open from 14-31 October, followed by an on-line election for board members from 5-22 November.” . .

ANZ Young Farmer Contest Launches in Christchurch:

The 46th season of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest officially got underway last Friday 4th October at the Commodore Hotel in Christchurch.

There was ample turnout at the launch from Young Farmers members, volunteers and representatives from sponsors ANZ bank, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.
The Contest’s compere, Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins, opened the proceedings and was followed by other speakers such as outgoing NZYF CEO Richard Fitzgerald and Graham Turley, Managing Director Commercial and Agri for ANZ. . .

Second National Conference on Biological Farming Systems announced due to popular demand:

A Second national conference on biological farming systems will be held on 13-14 February 2014 in Rotorua. Theme of the conference is “Biological farming under different land uses”.

Biological farming is a holistic approach to modify and improve soil conditions for beneficial microbes to increase soil microbial activity that helps speed-up nutrient cycling, and to re-establish mineral balance in the soil. It is a mix of conventional and organic farming practices involving careful crop and soil monitoring to ensure optimum yields, nutritional density and humus production.

The conference will provide a forum for discussion of a wide range of topics for current and future biological farming systems research. The programme will include two days of technical sessions of oral and poster presentations, panel discussions and scientist-farmer interaction. . .


Change of direction for Consumer NZ?

October 9, 2013

Consumer NZ used to stand up for consumers protections and rights and offer very good, unbiased, advice on products and services.

It might well still do that but i have noticed it more in the media as an advocating on wider, more political issues.

Take the call for control of marketing to children.

If the Government is serious about reversing the obesity epidemic, it must introduce tough new rules on the packaging of children’s treats, Consumer NZ says.

The consumer advocacy group is calling for the control of marketing gimmicks on food packaging – particularly cartoon characters, free toys and on-packet puzzles targeting children.

Consumer chief executive Sue Chetwin said under-13s were particularly susceptible to tricks of the advertising trade. With a person’s lifelong food preferences formed at an early age, if companies rope them in young, they’ll likely be hooked for life, the watchdog’s report says. . .

Consumer NZ has a right to advocate for whatever it wants.

But campaigns like this seem to mark a change in focus for the organisation which used to concentrate more on consumer rights and protections than a wider political agenda.


No more Maori seats good sign

October 9, 2013

The Maori Party is blaming the Electoral Commission for no increase in the number of Maori seats.

The Maori Party is disappointed at this week’s announcement from the Representation Commission, that no new Maori electorate will be created following the census and the Maori Option.

“Proper investment by electoral agencies in promoting Maori engagement with Parliamentary politics could have convinced another 4% of electors to join the Maori Roll, and secured an eighth Maori seat,” said Co-leaders Tariana Turia and Te Ururoa Flavell. 

“The Electoral Commission’s campaign did not do enough to ensure that people were fully informed of the difference between the two rolls.  The feedback we received from rangatahi is that the information provided from the Electoral Commission left them feeling that they had more choices on the general roll.”

“The Electoral Commission spent around $1.5million on the Maori Option Campaign, but measured their success based on the number of times their advertisements were viewed, not on results or ensuring that the message received by whanau were transformed into action – the action of filling in the forms and sending them back in.” . . .

It’s the Commission’s job to ensure people are informed of their options and to present the facts not to influence them one way or the other.

People are better on the general roll – most seats are smaller geographically making it easier for MPs to service and for constituents to access MPs and electorate offices.

. . . “The Maori Party will be making submissions on new boundaries for the current Maori seats – we think it is quite unrealistic for the whole of the South Island and part of the North Island to be represented by one MP, for example. The lack of access to Maori electorate MPs is a valid reason for Maori electors to opt onto the General roll – which reduces the number of Maori seats. The whole system works to disenfranchise the Treaty partner in Parliamentary politics.”

Te Tai Tonga is too big and poorer access will influence decisions on which roll to go on.

But that problem isn’t confined to Maori electorates. Some general seats are bigger than some Maori ones.

We’d all be better off if there were no Maori seats because more general seats would make all electorates smaller.

No increase in Maori seats is a good sign that people are recognising that, as Tariana Turia said, Maori seats don’t give Maori a voice.

It might also reflect that more Treaty settlements have been concluded and more Maori are moving from grievance mode to growth.


TPP on track for completion this year

October 9, 2013

The leaders of countries working towards the Trans Pacific Partnership are aiming to have negotiations completed this year:

We, the Leaders of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam, are pleased to announce today that our countries are on track to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.  Ministers and negotiators have made significant progress in recent months on all the legal texts and annexes on access to our respective goods, services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry markets.  We have agreed that negotiators should now proceed to resolve all outstanding issues with the objective of completing this year a comprehensive and balanced, regional agreement that achieves the goals we established in Honolulu in 2011, ensures the benefits of the agreement are fully shared, and takes into account the diversity of our levels of development.

A final Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement must reflect our common vision to establish a comprehensive, next-generation model for addressing both new and traditional trade and investment issues, supporting the creation and retention of jobs and promoting economic development in our countries.  The deepest and broadest possible liberalization of trade and investment will ensure the greatest benefits for countries’ large and small manufacturers, service providers, farmers, and ranchers, as well as workers, innovators, investors, and consumers.

We see the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with its high ambition and pioneering standards for new trade disciplines, as a model for future trade agreements and a promising pathway to our APEC goal of building a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.  We are encouraged by the growing interest in this important negotiation and are engaging with other Asia-Pacific countries that express interest in the TPP regarding their possible future participation.

Stakeholders across the region have provided valuable input to TPP negotiating teams both on-site at rounds and in our respective countries.  As we work to conclude these negotiations, we will further intensify consultations with stakeholders to craft a final agreement that appropriately addresses the interests of our citizens. We look forward to review and consideration of the outcome of our work, consistent with each of our domestic processes.

This is a significant achievement and shows a big move on the part of major economies like Japan, the USA and Canada which are still highly protected.

Improved access to markets will provide wonderful opportunities for New Zealand and the more countries with which we can trade freely the better able we will be to weather economic storms.


If winter’s here . . .

October 9, 2013

Remind me again why daylight saving starts at the end of September?

The Met Service warned of a wintry blast and they were right:

From Facebook:

Jacqui Dean MP
On the Pigroot road just inland from Palmerston. It’s snowing.
The Press:
Winter blast brings heavy snow, rain:

Cantabrians are enduring a spring cold snap with snow blanketing parts of the South Island.

Heavy rain pelted much of the region yesterday with higher areas hit by flurries of snow that settled in some places. . .

And Met Service:

met service.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

temp

 

 

 

 

It’s not unusual to get this worth of wild weather in October.

If winter’s here it’s too soon to put the clocks forward.


Heritage trumps property rights

October 9, 2013

The Property Council is deeply disappointed with the Environment Court ruling that the heritage-listed Harcourts building in Wellington’s city centre cannot be demolished.

While public safety is an obvious concern, the decision sets a dangerous precedence for all owners of historic buildings and the wider public. It fails to consider the hefty financial cost of upgrading the building to the New Building Standard (NBS), whether feasible or not.

In many cases building owners will have the will, but not the financial ability to carry out structural work when constructions costs can often be higher than the total value of the property. The unintended consequence is for the buildings to remain standing but becoming derelict – creating a greater risk to the public. . .

In a worst case scenario for Wellington, NBS requirements mean that the buildings are left for ‘demolition by neglect’ resulting in large areas of the city left vacant and causing an economic downturn in the affected areas .

Someone with historic buildings on a farm we visited a few months ago is leaving them to be demolished by neglect.

They had a plan to restore most of them but their consent was blocked by a heritage order so now they’re doing nothing and all the buildings will eventually fall down.

“Every main street in every town in New Zealand has a Harcourts type building. The construction cost of the required works would more often than not be higher than the end value of the building,” said Property Council’s Wellington branch president Andrew Hay.

In many cases the same buildings are owned by local authorities and it is in no one’s interest to cripple the finances of small towns simply for heritage preservation.

Wellington’s local government must take into account the rights of property owners in this regard if the health of its commercial property market is to be at optimum.

Property Council calls on the Government to explore financial incentives for property owners of heritage buildings to upgrade their structures to the minimum NBS.

Allowing heritage values to trump property rights without any compensation or assistance towards funding work needed to make a building safe will cause problems all around the country.

Many owners won’t be able to afford to get their buildings up to the required standard and, even if there was a case for public funding, the country’s books aren’t in a state to do so at the moment.

Given that, safety should trump heritage values and owners should be able to demolish buildings which are unsafe.


Public spending evenly spread

October 9, 2013

A snapshot of government funding by regions shows public spending is evenly spread across the country.

Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today released the Regional Government Expenditure Report jointly commissioned by Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and undertaken by NZIER.

The report to 30 June 2012 provides estimates of central government spending (operational and capital) in each of New Zealand’s 16 regions. The estimates are based on a direct expenditure approach and a measure based on services. The expenditure approach assigns spending to a region according to where money is spent and the service approach assigns expenditure according to the region for which a government service is provided.

Key findings include:

  • Using the expenditure method, in the year to June 2012 the Government spent $78,020 million, 92 per cent of which was operating expenditure
  • Wellington had the highest per capita operating expenditure ($22,297) and capital expenditure per capita ($2,184) because it is the capital and headquarters of many of the government’s core functions such as policy advice that supports services across New Zealand
  • Canterbury’s per capita share of expenditure is above average due, in large part, to increased spending following the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes
  • Using the services method, Otago had the highest capital expenditure per person ($1,993; page 7 of the report) and Gisborne the highest operating expenditure per person ($19,578; page 6 of the report).

Table 1 Core Crown Spending by region

Table 1 Core Crown Spending by region

“The development of all of New Zealand’s regions is hugely important to the Government and the national economy. This report shows the Government is investing in all our regions helping to support families, business growth, jobs and higher incomes,” Mr English says.

“The report will be a useful tool to monitor changes over time alongside the Regional Economic Activity Report and Statistics New Zealand’s Regional GDP update, which have both been released in the last four months.”

Mr Joyce says the report covers all Government expenditure, everything from building roads and hospitals, to social welfare payments, education and research and development.

“The results in the expenditure report show that regional expenditure broadly reflects the size of the population in each region,” Mr Joyce says.

“Small variations in Government spending across regions reflect their different demographics and characteristics. Regions with higher numbers of older people tend to have higher superannuation and health expenditure; areas with lower unemployment tend to have less social welfare spending.

“The Government remains committed to strengthening investment in all our regions helping them achieve their potential and boosting jobs and quality of life for all New Zealand families.”

The full report is here.

The ODT is running a Stand Up Otago campaign, with the support of southern mayors, largely predicated on the belief the south isn’t getting its fair share.

This reports shows that isn’t the case and spending is evenly spread across the country and pretty closely related to the population.


October 9 in history

October 9, 2013

768  Carloman I and Charlemagne were crowned Kings of The Franks.

1201 Robert de Sorbon, French theologian and founder of the Sorbonne, was born (d. 1274).

1238  James I of Aragon conquered Valencia and founded the Kingdom of Valencia.

1264   The Kingdom of Castile conquered the city of Jerez that was under Muslim occupation since 711.

1446  The hangul alphabet was published in Korea.

1514  Marriage of Louis XII of France and Mary Tudor.

1604  Supernova 1604, the most recent supernova to be observed in the Milky Way.

1635  Founder of Rhode Island Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a religious dissident after he speaks out against punishments for religious offenses and giving away Native American land.

1701  The Collegiate School of Connecticut (later renamed Yale University) was chartered in Old Saybrook.

1771  The Dutch merchant ship Vrouw Maria sank near the coast of Finland.

1776  Father Francisco Palou founded Mission San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco, California.

1799  Sinking of HMS Lutine, with the loss of 240 men and a cargo worth £1,200,000.

1804  Hobart, capital of Tasmania, was founded.

1812  War of 1812: In a naval engagement on Lake Erie, American forces captured two British ships: HMS Detroit and HMS Caledonia.

1820  Guayaquil declared independence from Spain.

1824  Slavery was abolished in Costa Rica.

1831  Capo d’Istria was assassinated.

1835  The Royal College, Colombo in Sri Lanka was established with the name Hillstreet Academy.

1837  A meeting at the U.S. Naval Academy established the U.S. Naval Institute.

1845  The eminent and controversial Anglican, John Henry Newman, was received into the Roman Catholic Church.

1854  Crimean War: The siege of Sebastopol began.

1861  American Civil War: Battle of Santa Rosa Island – Union troops repelled a Confederate attempt to capture Fort Pickens.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Tom’s Brook – Union cavalrymen in the Shenandoah Valley defeated Confederate forces.

1888  The Washington Monument officially opened to the general public.

1900 Alastair Sim, Scottish actor, was born (d. 1976).

1911  An accidental bomb explosion in Hankou, Wuhan, China les to the ultimate fall of the Qing Empire

1913  Steamship SS Volturno caught fire in the mid-Atlantic.

1914  World War I: Siege of Antwerp – Antwerp fell to German troops.

1931 Tony Booth, British actor and father of Cherie Blair, was born.

1934  The assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and Louis Barthou, Foreign Minister of France.

1936   Generators at Boulder Dam (later renamed to Hoover Dam) began to generate electricity from the Colorado River and transmit it 266 miles to Los Angeles, California.

1937 Brian Blessed, English actor, was born.

1940 John Lennon, British musician and songwriter (The Beatles), was born (d. 1980).

1940   Battle of Britain – During a night-time air raid by the German Luftwaffe, St. Paul’s Cathedral was hit by a bomb.

1941  A coup in Panama declared Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango the new president.

1942   Statute of Westminster 1931 formalised Australian autonomy.

1942 The last day of the October Matanikau action on Guadalcanal as United States Marine Corps forces withdrew back across the Matanikau River after destroying most of the Japanese Army’s 4th Infantry Regiment.

1944 John Entwistle, British musician (The Who), was born (d. 2002).

1945   Parade in NYC for Fleet Admiral Nimitz and 13 USN/USMC Medal of Honor recipients.

1950 Jody Williams, American teacher and aid worker, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

1952 Sharon Osbourne, English music manager and wife of Ozzy Osbourne, was born.

1954 James Fearnley, English musician (The Pogues), was born.

1962  Uganda becomes an independent Commonwealth realm.

1963  In northeast Italy, over 2,000 people were killed when a large landslide behind the Vajont Dam caused a giant wave of water to overflow it.

1966  David Cameron, British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1967 The six-o’clock swill ended.

The end of the 'six o'clock swill'

1967  A day after being captured, Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed for attempting to incite a revolution in Bolivia.

1970   The Khmer Republic was proclaimed in Cambodia.

1978 Nicky Byrne, Irish musician (Westlife), was born.

1981  Abolition of capital punishment in France.

1983  Rangoon bombing: attempted assassination of South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan during an official visit to Rangoon, Burma. Chun survived but the blast killed 17 of his entourage, including four cabinet ministers, and injured 17 others. Four Burmese officials also died in the blast.

1986  The musical The Phantom of the Opera had its first performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.

1989  An official news agency in the Soviet Union reported the landing of a UFO in Voronezh.

1989  In Leipzig, East Germany, 70,000 protesters demanded the legalisation of opposition groups and democratic reforms.

1992  A 13 kilogramme (est.) fragment of the Peekskill meteorite landed in the driveway of the Knapp residence in Peekskill, New York, destroying the family’s 1980 Chevrolet Malibu.

1999 The last flight of the SR-71.

2001  Second mailing of anthrax letters from Trenton, New Jersey in the 2001 anthrax attack.

2006  North Korea allegedly tested its first nuclear device.

2009  First lunar impact of the Centaur and LCROSS spacecrafts as part of NASA’s Lunar Precursor Robotic Programme.

2012 – Members of the Pakistani Taliban made a Failed attempt to assassinate Malala Yousafzai on her way home from school.

Sourced from NZ Hisory Online & Wikipedia


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