Word of the day

October 11, 2013

Hornswoggle – to get the better of someone by cheating or deception; bamboozle, cheat, deceive hoax, hoodwink, hoax or swindle.


Agri-woman Next Business Woman of Year

October 11, 2013

Lindy Nelson who set up the Agri-Women’s Development Trust has been named Next’s Business Woman of the Year.

Photo: Congratulations to Lindy Nelson who has just been named as Next magazines Business Woman of the Year!

The AWDT was set up to harness the vast source of untapped potential in New Zealand rural women to address challenges facing rural business, communities & people.

Our programmes actively support women to find solutions for sustainable, thriving communities and NZ as a whole – through business opportunities, community engagement & education.

We take a long-term stake in each woman’s future, standing alongside them to build networks and grow skills. We aim to share our tailor-made resources & partnerships for the greater good.

 


Rural round-up

October 11, 2013

Effluent may be power house for farmers – Collette Devlin:

Effluent – often a headache for Southland dairy farmers – could soon prove beneficial by offsetting electricity bills, recent research shows.

As part of the Southland Energy Strategy, Venture Southland has been working with farm consultants, Scandrett Rural, Niwa, and EECA trialling the capture of methane emissions from covered anaerobic effluent ponds on dairy farms.

The principle behind the project was to demonstrate that methane could be used as an energy source to reduce electricity use on farms and also reduce greenhouse emissions. . .

Jealous Jillaroo – Jackaroo Joins the Largest Drove In Aussie Memory – Jillaroo Jess:

Something very exciting is happening in eastern Australia at the moment. Well, not for me, I’m stuck at home taking care of the farm. Jackaroo has been lucky enough to be involved in the biggest drove in Australian history. A ‘drove’, is moving cattle/sheep from one place to another, feeding them along the way. They can be very long and hard distances travelled. Often, drovers live on the road, going from one job to the next. Cattle baron Tom Brinkworth has taken advantage of the drought and bad cattle prices by buying 18,000 head of cattle from the ages of 8months to 2yrs old. These cattle are being taken down the TSR (Travelling Stock Route), or ‘The Long Paddock’ to their new properties, some 2500km away (over 1500miles). The herd has been split up into 9 mobs, and are travelling 10km a day. There is about 80km/8days between the different mobs of cattle. . .

Let’s smash a cartel today – Tim Worstall:

I’ve pointed out here before that parts of the fertiliser industry seem to be run as a cartel. Now we’ve evidence that much of the fertiliser industry is run as a cartel.

C. Robert Taylor and Diana L. Moss have written “The Fertilizer Oligopoly: The Case for Antitrust Enforcement,” as a monograph for the American Antitrust Institute. Those looking for examples of possibly anticompetitive behavior, whether for classroom examples or for other settings, will find the argument intriguing.

The effect of which is:

Taylor and Moss write: “Damages from supra-competitive pricing of fertilizer likely amount to tens of billions of dollars annually, the direct effects of which are felt by farmers and ranchers. But consumers all over the world suffer indirectly from cartelization of the fertilizer industry through higher food prices, particularly low income and subsistence demographics. … [I]t is clear that corporate and political control of essential plant nutrients may be one of the most severe competition issues facing national economies today.”

Part of the detail of how the cartel works is that it is not allowed to affect domestic US prices (Ho ho). So therefore the richest farmers in the world are not affected: but all of the poor world ones are. . .

New appointments to Biosecurity  Ministerial Advisory Committee :

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced five new appointments to the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee today.

The Committee plays an important role in providing the Minister with independent advice on the performance of New Zealand’s biosecurity system as a whole, and on specific biosecurity issues where necessary.

“Biosecurity is my number one priority, and hugely important to New Zealand as a trading nation,” says Mr Guy.

“A world class biosecurity system protects New Zealand from unwanted pests and diseases. This is essential for working towards our goal of doubling the value of our primary sector exports to $64 billion by 2025. . .

New Zealand’s diversity recognised at International Wine and Spirit Competition:

New Zealand’s diverse wine styles have stolen the show at the prestigious UK-based International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). In the results released today, New Zealand wines beat all international competition to win not only the international Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir Trophies, but the Chardonnay Trophy as well, while Gold Outstanding Medals went to a Gewürztraminer and a dessert Riesling. . .

Ceres Wines wins the coveted IWSC Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir Trophy:

Ceres Wines, a tiny artisan wine producer from Bannockburn in Central Otago, has won the coveted International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) Bouchard Finlayson trophy for Pinot Noir. The trophy is awarded to the top Pinot Noir from entries received from around the globe. It is the third time in a row that the trophy has been awarded to wines produced in Central Otago, with Peregrine receiving the award in 2011 and Valli in 2012. . .

Re-wire on a Hayes Roast:

Hayes Roast is this season’s new addition to the offering at Hayes Engineering & Homestead, a Central Otago property cared for by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

“It’s been inspired by the inventions and ingenuity visitors experience at the site,” says Property Manager Scott Elliffe.

“We believe Ernest Hayes – inventor of the Hayes wire strainer that is still in use in farms around the world – would have quickly adapted to the new market of urban trail riders biking past his front door and developed a roasting machine to meet their needs for ‘city coffee, country food’.”

In partnership with Vivace Coffee, the NZHPT asked third generation artisan master roaster Bernard Smith to develop a blend of three original coffee beans that best emulated the strength of the site, the body of the ‘big skies’ Central Otago landscape and the sweetness of its sun overhead. . .


Whale on air?

October 11, 2013

RadioLive might be looking for a new afternoon host to replace John Tamihere who is working towards a political comeback.

Rachel Glucina’s picks for his replacement to work with Willie Jackson are:

1. Cameron Slater – He’s polarising and partisan, but can cross-pollinate via his widely viewed website.

2. Linda Clark – Her school ma’am whip-cracking is TV gold, but she’s unlikely to forgo Chapman Tripp responsibilities.

3. Paul Henry – If he actually liked talkback he’d be a welcome return. He’s in the MediaWorks stable and his TV show is yet to have a start date, so maybe he can be persuaded.

4. Mark Sainsbury – He wants a job in media and is already a contributor to the station.

5. Grant Dalton – Does he have a job? He’s certainly got plenty of opinions, mostly sporting, unfortunately.

6. Anna Guy – She’s desperate to be a media star, but with a fifth kid on the way and limited views beyond motherhood and Feilding farming she’s an unlikely contender.

7. Rachel Hunter – She’s a bona fide media star with a big TV following. But can she make the transition to radio?

A bit of tension and strong differences of opinion between hosts can be good on radio.

You’d certainly get that with Jackson and Slater who are just about polar opposites on the political spectrum.


Friday’s answers

October 11, 2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.?

2.  Who wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (usually shortened to The Wealth of Nations)?

3. It’s impôt in French, imposta in Italian, impuesto in Spanish and tāke  in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is tax freedom day?

5. If you were designing the tax system what principle would guide you?

Points for answers:

The electronic oven is busy baking electronic chocolate cakes for everyone who got a clean sweep:

Rob, Willdwan, Bulaman, Armchair Critic and Alwyn.

Paranormal sneaks in with the presumption that too easy meant you knew all the answers even though you didn’t give them.

And Grant gets there too – your definition of tax freedom day isn’t the most common one but it is used.

Read the rest of this entry »


Friendly Bay playground opening

October 11, 2013

Oamaru Harbour is being rediscovered.

In its hey day in the late 1800s and early last century it was a bustling port.

Even 50 years ago, it still had regular visits from ships taking freight in and out.

The safe bay was also popular with families and it has stayed as a harbour for fishing and leisure boats.

But over the years the harbour closed to shipping and nature’s impact made the beach less hospitable.

Then the world discovered the little blue penguins which nest around the harbour and the town capitalised on the tourist potential.

Businesses followed – craftspeople, a restaurant, a cafe and over the last year or so a steampunk themed playground has been developed.

It’s being opened at 5:30 this evening.

 

JUST A REMINDER In case it had slipped your mind. . . Be good to see 5,000 people here. Fingers crossed for warmer weather


Heritage trumps safety

October 11, 2013

Quote of the day:

. . . Deaths in earthquakes are somewhat unavoidable. But deaths caused by regulatory structures that force that little value is placed on human life, or that prevent a building owner from tearing down a building very likely to kill a pile of people in a quake, are worse than tragic – they’re stupid. Offsetting Behaviour.

It’s in a post on heritage rules which make some buildings untouchable and how the burden of providing the heritage amenity falls on the owner of the building.

He has a better idea:

I’ve suggested an alternative structure where we run heritage protection as an on-budget Council expenditure. Have each Council decide how much money they’re willing to put into heritage preservation, perhaps have Central provide a matching grant, and open it up to further voluntary contributions from the public. Then, have the heritage boards decide how and where they want to spend the money – paying building owners for the amenities they provide. This would force some consideration of the cost of providing some heritage amenities and focus preservation efforts on where they’re most cost effective. . .

If the public values something private and takes away the rights of the owner, the public must be prepared to pay.

As it stands heritage is trumping both property rights and safety and this is what will happen.

The next step in the fracas that the future of the Harcourts building in Lambton Quay has become is likely to result in Wellington’s own version of the Marie Celeste, that abandoned ghost ship of the Atlantic.

After all the to-ings and fro-ings to get the only commercially viable option of demolition and rebuilding approved, the owner has pulled the plug and intends to cordon off and abandon the building for safety reasons because its heritage value is apparently unique but unaffordable to retain. . .

Buildings will be abandoned, become eyesores and still be dangerous.


Capacity for untidy end

October 11, 2013

Understatement of the day:

Mr McCully, who was on the flight, said: “We clearly knew that there was a capacity for this to have an untidy end, and we were enormously relieved that it didn’t.”

He was one of 117 passengers on an RNZAF Boeing 757 to Antarctica carrying  which  had to circle the Pegasus airstrip near Scott Base for 2 hours on Monday and made two aborted approaches before making an emergency landing in reduced visibility and freezing fog.


Tim Minchin’s 9 lessons

October 11, 2013

If you prefer to read than listen, the transcript is here and includes these gems:

Arts degrees are awesome. And they help you find meaning where there is none. And let me assure you, there is none. Don’t go looking for it. Searching for meaning is like searching for a rhyme scheme in a cookbook: you won’t find it and you’ll bugger up your soufflé.

1. You Don’t Have To Have A Dream.

. . . Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… you never know where you might end up. Just be aware that the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery. Which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye. . .

2. Don’t Seek Happiness
Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect. We didn’t evolve to be constantly content. Contented Australophithecus Afarensis got eaten before passing on their genes.

3. Remember, It’s All Luck

. . . Understanding that you can’t truly take credit for your successes, nor truly blame others for their failures will humble you and make you more compassionate.

Empathy is intuitive, but is also something you can work on, intellectually.

4. Exercise

. . . Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run… whatever… but take care of your body. You’re going to need it. Most of you mob are going to live to nearly a hundred, and even the poorest of you will achieve a level of wealth that most humans throughout history could not have dreamed of. And this long, luxurious life ahead of you is going to make you depressed!

But don’t despair! There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise. Do it. Run, my beautiful intellectuals, run. And don’t smoke. Natch.

5. Be Hard On Your Opinions

. . . We must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat.
Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privilege.

Most of society’s arguments are kept alive by a failure to acknowledge nuance. We tend to generate false dichotomies, then try to argue one point using two entirely different sets of assumptions, like two tennis players trying to win a match by hitting beautifully executed shots from either end of separate tennis courts. . .

6. Be a teacher.
Please? Please be a teacher. Teachers are the most admirable and important people in the world. You don’t have to do it forever, but if you’re in doubt about what to do, be an amazing teacher. Just for your twenties. . .  Even if you’re not a Teacher, be a teacher. Share your ideas. Don’t take for granted your education. Rejoice in what you learn, and spray it.

7. Define Yourself By What You Love
  . . . try to also express your passion for things you love. Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire. Send thank-you cards and give standing ovations. Be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff.

8. Respect People With Less Power Than You.
I have, in the past, made important decisions about people I work with – agents and producers – based largely on how they treat wait staff in restaurants. . .

9. Don’t Rush.
You don’t need to already know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. I’m not saying sit around smoking cones all day, but also, don’t panic. . .

And here’s my idea of romance:

You will soon be dead. Life will sometimes seem long and tough and, god, it’s tiring. And you will sometimes be happy and sometimes sad. And then you’ll be
old. And then you’ll be dead.

There is only one sensible thing to do with this empty existence, and that is: fill it. Not fillet. Fill. It.

And in my opinion (until I change it), life is best filled by learning as much as you can about as much as you can, taking pride in whatever you’re doing, having compassion, sharing ideas, running(!), being enthusiastic. And then there’s love, and travel, and wine, and sex, and art, and kids, and giving, and mountain climbing … but you know all that stuff already. . .

 

 


Should single and childless be paid less?

October 11, 2013

If $18.40 is considered to be a “living wage” for a family, should the single and childless be paid less?

Trans Tasman says:

Employers and Manufacturers Association CEO Kim Campbell has exposed fundamental flaws in the campaign launched by the Anglican Family Centre for a so-called “living wage.” The Anglican proposal of $18.40 gross per hour applies to an average family of 2 adults and 2 children, with one adult working fulltime and one working half-time. Their pay at this rate includes Govt payments such as Working for Families, accommodation supplements, and childcare assistance. Campbell says on this basis many people whose pay is currently based on $15 or $16 an hour already qualify as receiving a “living wage.”

Other groups appear to back the payment of $18.40 gross an hour with the welfare and support payments paid as well. If the top-ups are included the “average family” would receive the equivalent of over $20 gross an hour each. Another fundamental problem with the system proposed by the Anglican Family Centre for low paid workers being paid according to their family circumstances is totally different from the way everyone has been paid for their work.

“People are paid for their work, not for the size of their family. If $18.40 an hour was set as the right amount for a family of 4 with 1½ pay packets, a different rate would be needed for, say, a family of 6 with 1 pay packet, or a 2-person-2 income household, or a single person with 2 jobs. Calculating the many different ‘living wages’ would be a nightmare.” . . .

It would be iniquitous to pay people less because they needed less to support the sort of lifestyle a ‘living wage’ is predicated on.

But is it any better to pay people more than the job they do is worth because their needs, which have nothing at all to do with their work, are greater?

New Zealand would be better off if all wages and salaries were higher but increases must be based on what the work is worth not an artificial construct of what’s needed.


Patience might pay

October 11, 2013

When an issue becomes a big issue emotion often clouds the facts.

This has happened with housing affordability and the general acceptance that it’s a problem if first home buyers can’t by the type of house they want at a price they can afford.

Trans Tasman brings some much needed cool reason to the debate:

There are a few things – awkward, intractable and occasionally unpleasant things – being forgotten in the current wave of handwringing about house buying. The first and most basic is supply and demand: if supply of something drops, or demand for it rises, the price will generally go up. If they happen at the same time – as with the Auckland property market right now – silly things happen.

The last housing boom/bubble wasn’t driven by supply issues. In fact the construction sector was dashing from site to site like water trucks in the Sahara. There was also hell of a lot of speculative trading going on – a top tax rate of 39% and tax breaks for depreciation and LAQCs will do this for you. This vanished in 2009-10 but so did construction. Residential property investment is now 23% below 2007 levels.

A final, crucial and awkward truth. Young Kiwis who can barely scrape together a deposit right now are better off waiting. Not only interest rates but also inflation are their lowest for 50 years and will rise over the next three years. Insurance and rates – which tend to catch first home buyers by surprise – are rising by 10% or more. And a house-building programme of the kind being launched right now could see house prices fall.

By 2015-16, we could easily be seeing negative equity plus a rash of mortgagee sales as today’s cheap fixed rate mortgages end and jump a couple of percent. All the new Reserve Bank restrictions require is the scraping together of a larger deposit. It ain’t such a bad idea at the moment.

Patience is a virtue and it might well pay when it comes to house buying.

Interest rates won’t stay as low as they are now and other costs will rise which could make it very difficult for people to service large mortgages.

If they’ve borrowed most of the money for their purchase it will take only a small drop in property prices to push them into negative equity.

It’s not that long ago that most people wouldn’t have dreamed of going to a bank until they had a sizeable deposit.

A return to that mind-set would take some heat out of the market and make eventual purchases much more secure.


October 11 in history

October 11, 2013

1138 A massive earthquake struck Aleppo, Syria.

1531 Huldrych Zwingli was killed in battle with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland.

1614  Adriaen Block and 12 Amsterdam merchants petitioned the States General for exclusive trading rights in the New Netherland colony.

1634  The Burchardi flood — “the second Grote Mandrenke” killed around 15,000 men in North Friesland, Denmark and Germany.

1649  Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.

1727  George II and Caroline of Ansbach were crowned King and Queen of Great Britain.

1776  American Revolution: Battle of Valcour Island – 15 American gunboats were defeated but give Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.

1809  Explorer Meriwether Lewis died under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder’s Stand.

1811  Inventor John Stevens‘ boat, the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service between New York, New York, and Hoboken, New Jersey).

1833  A big demonstration at the gates of the legislature of Buenos Aires forced the ousting of governor Juan Ramón Balcarce and his replacement with Juan José Viamonte.

1844 Henry Heinz, American food manufacturer, was born (d. 1916).

1852 – The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university was inaugurated.

1861 The first Cobb & Co coach service ran from Dunedin to the Otago goldfields.

First Cobb and Co coach service runs to Otago goldfields

1865  Paul Bogle led hundreds of black men and women in a march in Jamaica, starting the Morant Bay rebellion.

1884 Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States and humanitarian, was born (d. 1962)

1890  In Washington, DC, the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded.

1899 Second Boer War began.

1906  San Francisco public school board sparked United States diplomatic crisis with Japan by ordering Japanese students to be taught in racially segregated schools.

1910  Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers.

1912 – Betty Noyes, singer who dubbed Debbie Reynolds’ singing voice in Singin’ in the Rain, was born (d 1987).

1926 Neville Wran, Premier of New South Wales, was born.

1929 JC Penney opened store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.

1937 Sir Bobby Charlton, English footballer, was born.

1941  Beginning of the National Liberation War of Macedonia.

1942  World War II: Battle of Cape Esperance – On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercepted and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.

1944 Tuvinian People’s Republic was annexed by the U.S.S.R.

1950 Television: CBS’s mechanical colour system was the first to be licensed for broadcast by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

1954 First Indochina War: The Viet Minh took control of North Vietnam.

1957 Dawn French, Welsh comedian,actress and screenwriter, was born.

1958  NASA launched the lunar probe Pioneer 1.

1962  Second Vatican Council: Pope John XXIII convened the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.

1968  Apollo program: NASA launched Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard.

1969 Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, was born.

1972 A race riot on the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.

1975 The NBC sketch comedy/variety show Saturday Night Live debuted with George Carlin as the host and Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian and Billy Preston as guests.

1976  George Washington‘s appointment, posthumously, to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 was approved by President Gerald R. Ford.

1982  The Mary Rose, a Tudor carrack which sank on July 19 1545, was salvaged from the sea bed of the Solent.

1984 Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to perform a space walk.

1986 Cold War: U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík, Iceland, in an effort to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe.

1987  Start of Operation Pawan by Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka that killed few thousand ethnic Tamil civilians, several hundred Tamil Tigers and few hundred Indian Army soldiers.

1996 Pala accident: a wood lorry and school bus collided in Jõgeva county, Estonia, killing eight children.

2001 The Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

2002  A bomb attack in a shopping mall in Vantaa, Finland killed seven.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: