Word of the day

October 19, 2013

Feague – to decorate or improve in appearance through artificial means; to beat or whip; to drive; to increase the liveliness of a horse by inserting an irritant  in its fundament.; to put ginger up a horse’s fundament, and formerly a live eel, to make it lively and carry its tail well.


Saturday’s smiles

October 19, 2013

For the benefit of any Australians who are in Dunedin for tonight’s test, here’s a dictionary to help with translation:

  • Peck – to fill a suitcase
  • Min – male of the species
  • Milburn – capital of Victoria
  • Pigs – for hanging out washing with
  • Pug – large animal with a curly tail
  • Munner stroney – soup
  • Mess Kara – eye makeup
  • McKennock – person who fixes cars
  • Mere – Mayor
  • Leather – foam produced from soap
  • Lift – departed
  • Kiri Pecker – famous Australian businessman
  • Ken’s – Cairns
  • Jumbo – pet name for someone called Jim
  • Jungle Bills – Christmas carol
  • Inner me – enemy
  • Guess – vapour
  • Fush – marine creatures
  • Chups – fried potatoes.
  • Fitter cheney – type of pasta
  • Ever cardeau – avocado

Rural round-up

October 19, 2013

Pengxin, Synlait founders make $85.7 mln offer to take over Synlait Farms – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – Shanghai Pengxin, which bought the Crafar family farms in a controversial deal last year, and the Synlait founders are offering $85.7 million to buy South Island dairy farmer Synlait Farms.

SFL Holdings, a joint venture between Pengxin and Synlait Farms chief executive Juliet Maclean and director John Penno, is offering $2.10 a share to Synlait Farms investors in a full takeover bid for the company which operates 13 dairy farms and a total herd of almost 13,000 cows. That’s a 31 percent premium to the $1.60 price the shares last traded at on the Unlisted platform.

If the takeover is successful, SFL plans to inject a further $20 million in fresh capital to reduce debt and accelerate investment. It also plans to reinvest all surplus cash to fund further growth. Penno and Maclean will hold about 26 percent of SFL, with Pengxin owning the rest via New Zealand Standard Farm, a subsidiary of its Milk New Zealand unit. . .

Spierings blames ‘she’ll be right attitude’ for Fonterra botulism scare – Christopher Adams:

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings compared the company’s botulism debacle to Emirates Team New Zealand’s near-capsize during the America’s Cup. Photo / Greg Bowker

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says a “she’ll be right attitude” was one of the causes of the company’s botulism fiasco.

Business leaders have gathered in Auckland today for the annual China Business Summit.

The event’s main focus this year is the ongoing impact of Fonterra’s whey protein contamination scare, which led to a global recall of consumer products, including infant formula, but turned out to be a false alarm.

Addressing the summit, Spierings said Fonterra was world class in manufacturing and food safety but the company still needed to “lift its game”.

“That was one the key learnings [of the botulism scare] – a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is not acceptable,” he said. . .

Primary Growth Partnership enhances world-class Mozzarella technology:

A Primary Growth Partnership programme is helping deliver world-leading patented technology for the production of quick-frozen grated mozzarella.

The Transforming the Dairy Value Chain programme is driven by Fonterra, Dairy NZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under the Primary Growth Partnership. The technology, which is being expanded at Fonterra’s Clandeboye site in South Canterbury, enables quick-frozen, natural, shredded mozzarella to be produced in just a day—a process traditionally taking around two months.

“This is a key demonstration of the type of innovation that is being enabled by the Primary Growth Partnership,” says Justine Gilliland, Director Primary Growth Partnership, MPI. . .

Creating the ‘angus moment’ – Gerald Piddock:

Angus beef must position itself as a guilt-free indulgence for wealthy consumers around the world if it is to prosper in the modern world, a leading brand strategist says.

But to achieve this would require a new way of thinking, Brian Richards told farmers at the World Angus Forum in Rotorua.

It meant angus farmers viewing themselves not just as sellers of protein but also as producers of a food experience, Richards said in his keynote address at the forum. . .

New Zealand wine industry ‘icon’ receives 2013 trans-Tasman agribusiness leadership award:

New Zealand wine industry luminary Sir George Fistonich has been named the recipient of the 2013 Rabobank Leadership Award for his outstanding contribution to agribusiness.

A pioneer of modern-day winemaking in New Zealand, Sir George, the founder and owner of Villa Maria Estate, was presented with the prestigious trans-Tasman honour at the annual Rabobank Leadership Award Dinner in Melbourne last night.

Australian grains industry advocate Georgie Aley was named Rabobank Emerging Leader, a new award category recognising up-and-coming young leaders in New Zealand and Australia’s food, beverage and agribusiness industries.

Announcing the award winners, Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group managing director Thos Gieskes said Sir George Fistonich had spent five decades at the forefront of New Zealand’s wine industry and had been an instrumental figure in the rise of New Zealand wines on the world stage.

“In a career spanning 50 years, George Fistonich has exemplified true leadership along with an extraordinary passion for the New Zealand wine industry – successfully leading not just his own business, but helping to pioneer and drive an entire industry and inspire and mentor those around him,” Mr Gieskes said.  . .  (I posted on the award yesterday, but this is the official media release).

Waiting for Nuffield – RivettingKateTaylor:

It’s Nuffield time of year again.

Years ago, a Young Farmers friend, arable farmer Hugh Ritchie, was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship. I think I was working for radio or the HB Herald Tribune at the time and did a story on his selection.

Now I work for Nuffield NZ in a freelance journalist role and see the scholars come and go (literally – six months of overseas travel/research is an integral part of a scholarship). . .

Oaklands Milk now from A2 dairy herds:

Local dairy farmer Julian Raine, has announced that all Oakland’s milk naturally contains A2 beta casein proteins. He says “Centuries ago all cow’s milk contained this protein but as dairy herds around the world have been bred and selected for higher production the incidence of the A1 variation has increased.”

Through genetic testing Mr Raine has been able to select cows from his two Nelson dairy herds that have only the A2 gene. These cows are milked separately and it is only this pasteurised milk that is currently sold through vending machines located at Oakland’s farm gate. . .

Kiwi company takes the spotlight with its world-leading technology:

Global players in the fresh produce industry will this weekend get a first-hand look at innovative fruit sorting solutions from Kiwi company BBC Technologies, the world’s leading supplier of blueberry sorting and packing machinery.

BBC Technologies, specialists in the development and manufacturing of advanced processing technology, will be showcasing its range, for the first time, at the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in New Orleans.

PMA’s Fresh Summit is one of the largest trade shows held in the United States, drawing more than 18,000 visitors from over 60 countries. North America is a key market for BBC, with the thriving New Zealand company recording 30 per cent year on year growth. . .


Quantity rather than quality

October 19, 2013

Winston Peters hopes to have at least 16 MPs in his caucus after next year’s election.

If New Zealand First’s form is anything to go on that would be quantity rather than quality.


5/10

October 19, 2013

Only 5/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


Look up before planting

October 19, 2013

Many of this week’s power outages could have been avoided if people had trimmed trees growing under or near power lines.

. . . Thousands of properties lost power when trees crashed onto wires during storms in the Wairarapa and elsewhere in the southern North Island on Monday.

Powerco’s networks operations manager Phil Marsh says most of these could have been avoided if the property owners had trimmed trees on their properties. . . .

Trouble could also be avoided if people looked up before planing trees and avoided planting them close to lines.

Shelter belts on road side boundaries will almost always be under or close to power lines, but when planting elsewhere on farms it’s usually not difficult to keep clear of them.


Brighter future no mirage

October 19, 2013

While attention has been on political sideshows there’s been several positive stories about the economy this week.

Consumer confidence is growing adding to signs economy is picking up pace:

New Zealand consumer confidence rose this month, adding to signs the economy is growing at a faster clip, with the strongest recording for kiwis feeling better off than a year ago since January 2008.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index rose 3 points to 122.3 from 119 in September. The current conditions index rose 4 points to 120 and the future conditions index gained 3 points to 124.

“Consumer sentiment remains elevated and consistent with perky spending trends,” ANZ New Zealand chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in his report. . . .

Employment has been lagging behind growth but it is beginning to pick up too.

The ANZ Index shows job advertisements increased last month:

The ANZ jobs index released on Thursday shows total job advertising rose 1.1% in September, with the number of jobs advertised just over 4% higher than a year ago.

ANZ Senior Economist Sharon Zollner says newspaper ads rose 4.2% after a sharp fall in August.

Ms Zollner says Internet ads rose 0.5% which is the fourth consecutive monthly increase. . . .

She says it’s normal for the labour market to lag behind the general economy but the jobs recovery had been sluggish.

“We’re optimistic that in the second half of this year things are going to pick up.” . . .

And beneficiaries are seeking out emerging jobs:

More than 700 beneficiaries have sought out and landed jobs despite having no requirement to work since the new Work Bonus became available.

“We introduced a work bonus as an incentive to help people move off a benefit and onto a wage,” says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

The government is making a difference through a modernised welfare system by setting expectations, incentives and support to work.

Operational since July 15, the latest welfare reforms include the new Work Bonus, which allows the benefit to be phased out incrementally so people keep a proportion of it as they transition to a wage.

“Even just six weeks into the policy, 706 people had gone off benefit into work and were getting the Work Bonus,” says Mrs Bennett.

“The majority were sole parents, but more than 80 were people choosing to go off the Supported Living Payment (previously Invalid’s Benefit) into work.”

Work opportunities are emerging nationwide and beneficiaries will continue to snap up these jobs with employers choosing to recruit via Work and Income.

Home Support North is looking for around 70 part time support workers in Kerikeri and Whangarei. A new Supervalue supermarket opening in Avondale, Auckland provided work for five beneficiaries and likewise a FreshChoice supermarket will create 30 new jobs in West Auckland’s Ranui when it opens.

Z petrol stations regularly use Work and Income for recruitment. Seventeen beneficiaries gained jobs in Auckland Z stations in May and June alone.

“Three of those seventeen had done the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) scheme. The Opposition writes this course off, but it motivates people to work,” says Mrs Bennett.

Another ten LSV graduates of the Hobsonville course have been interviewed for more positions at Z stations.

A number of new and expanding businesses are opening sites or starting up in areas that will benefit from the new jobs emerging including:

  • Progressive enterprises re-opening a refurbished Wellington supermarket
  • Sea Dragon Marine Oils doubling staff levels and opening a new factory in Richmond
  • New Subway sandwich store in Nelson
  • Drivers and labourers needed by Smart Environment Limited for recycling and rubbish disposal in Westport
  • Rydges Latimer Square Christchurch hotel now open and taking staff

Jobs are becoming available around the country and Work and Income are making every effort to match them with motivated beneficiaries.

“The new, modernised welfare system is providing real incentives and support to move into work and people are taking up the opportunities as they arise.”

There’s been a dramatic drop in the number of beneficiaries in the last year:

The number of people on benefits in New Zealand has fallen consistently for three quarters says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

Today’s data release shows benefits fell to 304,394 in the September quarter.

“A year ago there were almost 321,000 New Zealanders on benefits; that fell by 16,548 since September 2012, and by 5,388 in just the last quarter.”

The number of people on Sole Parent Support fell by more than 3,000 in the last quarter and there are at least 2,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support.

Since the Sole Parent Support benefit was introduced in July 15, more than 3,200 sole parents have cancelled it for work, others have left for different reasons and another 5,000 came onto this benefit in the same period.

Mrs Bennett says the new, transparent, approach to the welfare system reveals sole parents spend 15.8 years on average on welfare and the total lifetime liability for sole parents is $21 billion, or $234,000 per person.

“This is why we’ve prioritised this group for assistance, particularly teen parents who are most at risk of getting trapped on welfare,” says Mrs Bennett.

“Teen parents on benefit are required to be in education so they can be better prepared for work, as well as undertaking parenting and budgeting programmes, all of which helps them to become independent.”

Since July, more than 10,000 Jobseeker benefits have been cancelled because people found work and on average, around 1,500 benefits are cancelled every week, because people go off benefit, into work. . . .

South Island firms are showing meteoric growth:

South Island listed companies have posted a meteoric 22.7% growth in the latest quarter according to the Deloitte South Island Index released today.  This is the largest quarterly growth percentage since the inception of the Index.

The 23rd edition of the Deloitte South Island Index, for the quarter to 30 September 2013, saw the index rocket upwards by $1.6 billion (22.7%) in market capitalisation, continuing the trend of the previous four quarters. The latest quarter’s results see the Index up $3.02 billion (53.6%) during the year to 30 September 2013 with total market capitalisation now standing at $8.66 billion, yet another new high since its inception in 2007.

The South Island Index’ 22.7% growth led the way against benchmark indices during the September quarter. Over the same period, the ASX All Ords achieved respectable growth of 9.3% while the NZX 50 Index and Dow Jones achieved more modest to low growth of 6.7% and 1.5% respectively. 

Paul Munro, a corporate finance partner in Deloitte’s Christchurch office, says the performance of the Index over the last quarter has been nothing less than remarkable. . .

The full Deloitte South Island Index report is here.

We still have a long way to go but all of these are encouraging signs that the  economy is on track back to surplus and that the brighter future National promised is no mirage.

Prime Minister John Key says:

I’m proud of the progress we’re making to build a stronger economy. Economic growth means more jobs and opportunities, better schools and hospitals, and a brighter future for families.
From John Key : NZ is growing faster than most economies, meaning more jobs, more opportunities & a brighter future for Kiwi families.


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