Word of the day

October 14, 2013

Expiscate – to learn through laborious investigation; to fish out or find out by skill; discover by scrupulous examination.


Rural round-up

October 14, 2013

Low wool supply puzzles exporters:

Wool industry representatives are trying to unravel the mystery of an unexpected drop in the amount of wool coming forward for auction.

Thursday’s South Island sale had fewer than 8000 bales on offer, which was about 40% below the amount which had been anticipated, while the amount of wool for next week’s North Island sale is 25% lower than what had been rostered.

That’s even more of a surprise, as recent North Island sales have been offering more than the amount forecast. . .

Garden stepping down at SFF – Alan Williams:

Silver Fern Farms will be looking for a new chairman, after Eoin Garden retires from the board at the annual meeting in December.

Garden, a Central Otago farmer, has been chairman of New Zealand’s biggest meat processor and exporter since early 2008.

He was elected to the board in 1998 and is the longest-serving of the current directors. . .

Cricketers to front Indian venutre – Annette Scott:

An exclusive supply contract with meat processor and exporter Alliance Group has set the wheels in motion for fledgling company QualityNZ to build a meat trade with India.

QualityNZ has spent the past three years “under the radar” devising strategy to set up a market for New Zealand sheep meat in India.

Building around NZ and India’s sporting relationships, cricketing stars Brendon McCullum, Stephen Fleming, and Daniel Vettori will play a big part in the marketing and profile of the new meat trade.

All three cricketers have a shareholding in QualityNZ alongside the two major shareholders, former NZ fast bowler Geoff Allott and NZ Cricket Board member and Geoff Thin. . .

Keep it clean:

RURAL CONTRACTORS are being reminded to make sure their machinery is cleaned between jobs to ensure that plant pests and weeds are not spread around on dirty gear.

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) president Steve Levet says dirty machines carry soil, seeds, and organic matter, which could dislodge when it’s next used and spread contamination to new sites.

“Soil-borne pests and diseases can be transferred in wet soil attached to wheels, tracks or parts of the machine that work in the ground. While some pests and disease can also be transferred in dust that can accumulate on many parts of the machine – engine bay, cabins and air intakes,” Levet explains. . .

NZ merino a winner during America’s Cup – Tim Cronshaw:

New Zealand may have lost the America’s Cup, but some consolation can be taken from 5500 meals of merino-branded lamb being served up at a pop-up restaurant on the San Francisco waterfront to diners including film actor Tom Cruise.

The branded lamb meat, Silere alpine origin merino, was a winner among supporters of the race won last month by the United States Oracle team led by Kiwi Sir Russell Coutts and bankrolled by billionaire Larry Ellison.

More than 1.4 tonnes of merino lamb was dished up during the 12 weeks of the America’s Cup at the Waiheke Island Yacht Club pop-up restaurant at the Embarcadero in San Francisco which will remain open until the end of the year. . .

Dairy man jumps on asparagus bandwagon:

THIRTY FIVE years ago Geoff Lewis left his parent’s small dairy farm to seek his fortune in the sheep and cattle industry.

Today Lewis has added a dairy farm to his business, but asparagus growing has propelled him to prominence as a highly regarded grower using technology for maximum profit.

“When Liz and I got married, I went and managed a coastal sheep and beef farm and forestry block north of Foxton. My employer there was keen to diversify. In the late 1970’s the catchcry was ‘diversify’ and there were goats, deer, kiwifruit – all embryonic. 

“MAF had an advisory office supporting diversification by farmers so we investigated and decided perhaps asparagus was a good option for the free-draining sands of the west coast.” . . .


Justice delayed

October 14, 2013

Eight men are set to stand trial over alleged electoral fraud during the 2010 election.

. . . The police investigation was launched after more than 300 people were removed from the electoral roll leading up to the election due to irregularities.

It was reported that 48 people were living at one address. . .

Three years later they’re finally facing court action.
The alleged fraud was more than three years ago and we’ve just had another election.
There’s got to be a better, and faster, way to deal with electoral irregularities than this when justice delayed could be far too late to change the influence wrong-doing could have on an election result.

Are we paying for the billboards?

October 14, 2013

The Green party has launched a campaign to encourage people to vote no in the referendum on whether or not a minority shareholding in a few state owned assets should be sold.

They’ve put up billboards around Auckland and I’m wondering if there’s a parliamentary crest on them.

If not the party is funding them, if there is a crest we are through parliamentary services.

The Greens and Labour turned what was supposed to be a citizens’ initiated referendum into a politicians’ initiated one.

Labour has gone quiet on the referendum, perhaps realising that the public has no appetite for wasting around $9 million on a referendum which will have absolutely no impact on the policy.

But the Greens are continuing to use the issue to keep their profile up.

Enough public money has already been wasted, I’d hate to think we’re paying for the billboards too.


NZ will win with TPP

October 14, 2013

Trade Minister Tim Groser said there was no need for concern about the content of the Trans Pacific Partnership:

“When this deal is done, I am certain that I and the Prime Minister will be able to come in from of New Zealanders and say: ‘this is virtually all upside’.”

“In relative terms, New Zealand will gain more than any country in TPP … the structure of these massive protective barriers that will come down will benefit New Zealand more than any country in this negotiation.” . . .

. . .  Mr Groser . . . said concerns about intellectual property and patents under the TPP had been “wildly exaggerated”.

He said the United States is the “most innovative country in the world” so their intellectual property law could hardly chill innovation.

New Zealanders would not be paying more for drugs as a result of TPP, Mr Groser said.

“I’ve said categorically Pharmac is not on the table.”

ANZCO Foods chair Sir Graeme Harrison said New Zealand has a lot more to gain from the TPP now Japan’s in the negotiations.

He said:

New Zealand could bring in $5 billion per year in our exports now Japan was involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), compared to $3.5 billion without Japan.

The increase in exports to Japan could mean a 2% gain in GDP, with many of the gains in the primary industries, he said. . .

He said Japan’s inclusion has made the TPP more worthwhile for the United States, which in turn will work in New Zealand’s favour.

“All of this comes together with two countries, the world’s first and third largest economy, both believing in a rules-based trading system, that are on our side, and we can have quite an influence in that process.”

Both were speaking on The Nation yesterday. You can watch the full interviews here.

New Zealand has a very small domestic market and we have one of the most open economies in the world.

We’ve already gone through the hard part of giving up protection and puts us ahead of most of the other countries which are negotiating the TPP.

We have a lot to gain and very little to lose from the successful completion of the TPP agreement.


Free to vote or not

October 14, 2013

Local Government New Zealand is looking at making voting compulsory following a disappointing turnout this year.

There is a danger in that. It will increase the quantity of votes casts but there’s no guarantee it will have any impact on the quality and might even make it worse.

People who are already so disengaged from local body politics they choose to not vote or simply don’t bother are hardly likely to take a more intelligent interest simply because they’re compelled to do something with a voting paper.

I’d prefer councils chosen by a minority of voluntary voters to those chosen by a majority voting under duress.

If we are truly free to vote then we must also be free to not vote should we choose to.


October 14 in history

October 14, 2013

1066  Norman Conquest: Battle of Hastings – the forces of William the Conqueror defeated the English army and kill King Harold II of England.

1322  Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland’s independence.

1644 William Penn, English founder of Pennsylvania, was born (d. 1718).

1656  Massachusetts enacts the first punitive legislation against the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

1758  Seven Years’ War: Austria defeated Prussia at the Battle of Hochkirk.

1773  The first recorded Ministryof Education, the Komisja Edukacji Narodowej was formed in Poland.

1805 Battle of Elchingen, France defeated Austria.

1806 Battle of Jena-Auerstädt France defeated Prussia.

1840  The Maronite leader Bashir II surrendered to the British Army and then is sent into exile on the islands of Malta.

1843  The British arrested the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell for conspiracy to commit crimes.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Bristoe Station – Confederate troops under the command of General Robert E. Lee failed to drive the American Union Army completely out of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1867  The 15th and the last military Shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate resigned in Japan, returning his power to the Emperor of Japan and thence to the re-established civil government of Japan.

1882 Eamon de Valera, Irish politician and patriot, was born (d. 1975).

1882 University of the Punjab was founded in a part of India that later became West Pakistan.

1884  The American inventor, George Eastman, received a U.S. Government patent on his new paper-strip photographic film.

1888 Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand writer, was born (d. 1923).

1888  Louis Le Prince filmed first motion picture: Roundhay Garden Scene.

1890  Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th President of the United States, was born (d. 1969).

1894  E. E. Cummings, American poet, was born (d. 1962).

1912 While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the former President Theodore Roosevelt, was shot and mildly wounded by John Schrank.With the fresh wound in his chest, and the bullet still within it, Mr. Roosevelt still carried out his scheduled public speech.

1913  Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, the United Kingdom’s worst coal mining accident claimed the lives of 439 miners.

1926  The children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, was first published.

1927 Roger Moore, English actor, was born.

1938  The first flight of the Curtiss Aircraft Company’s P-40 Warhawk fighter plane.

1939 Ralph Lauren, American fashion designer, was born.

1939 The German Kriegsmarine submarine U-47 sank the British battleship HMS Royal Oak in the harbour at Scapa Flow.

1940 Cliff Richard, English singer, was born.

1940 Christopher Timothy, British actor, was born.

1940  Balham subway station disaster, in London during an air raid.

1943 Prisoners at the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland revolted against the Germans, killing eleven SS troops who were guards there, and wounding many more.

1943 – The American Eighth Air Force lost 60 B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers in aerial combat during the second mass-daylight air raid on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing factories in western Nazi Germany.

1944 – Athens was liberated by British Army troops.

1946 Justin Hayward, English musician (Moody Blues), was born.

1947 Captain Chuck Yeager of the U.S. Air Force flew a Bell X-1 rocket-powered experimental aircraft, the Glamorous Glennis, faster than the speed of sound.

1949 – Chinese Civil War: Chinese Communist forces occupied the city of Guangzhou.

1952  Korean War: United Nations and South Korean forces launched Operation Showdown against Chinese strongholds at the Iron Triangle. The resulting Battle of Triangle Hill was the biggest and bloodiest battle of 1952.

1956  Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the Indian Untouchable caste leader, converted to Buddhism along with 385,000 of his followers (see Neo-Buddhism).

1957  Queen Elizabeth II became the first Canadian Monarch to open up an annual session of the Canadian Parliament, presenting her Speech from the Throne in Ottawa, Canada.

1958 The American Atomic Energy Commission, with supporting military units, carried out an underground nuclear weapon test.

1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis began: A U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane and its pilot flew over  Cuba and took photographs of Soviet missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

1964 Leonid Brezhnev became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1967 Joan Baez was arrested concerning a physical blockade of the U.S. Army’s induction centre in Oakland, California.

1968 – An earthquake rated at 6.8 on the Richter Scale destroyed the Australian town of Meckering, Western Australia, and ruptured all nearby main highways and railroads.

1968  Jim Hines of the United States of America becomes the first man ever to break the so-called “ten-second barrier” in the 100-meter sprint in the Summer Olympic Gamesheld in Mexico City with a time of 9.95 seconds.

1969  The United Kingdom introduced fifty-pence coin, which replaced, over the following years, the British ten-shilling note, in anticipation of the decimalization of the British currency in 1971

1973  In the Thammasat student uprising over 100,000 people protested in Thailand against the Thanom military government; 77 were killed and 857 are injured by soldiers.

1979 The mutilated body of Marty Johnstone, leader of the Mr Asia drug syndicate, was found in Eccleston Delft, a flooded disused quarry in Lancashire.

'Mr Asia' murder victim found

1979  The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, demanded “an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of lesbian and gay people”, and draws 200,000 people.

1981  Amnesty International charged the U.S. Federal Government with holding Richard Marshall of the American Indian Movement as a political prisoner.

1981 – Vice President Hosni Mubarak was elected as the President of Egypt.

1982 U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed a War on Drugs.

1994 Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and Foreign Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, received the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in the establishment of the Oslo Accords and the framing of the future Palestinian Self Governing.

2004 – A special nine-member council selected Norodom Sihamoni as the new King of Cambodia, replacing his father who abdicated a week earlier.

2012 – Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere to try to break the record of the highest freefall jump, at an altitude of 39,068 meters (128,018 ft)

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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