Win tickets to Otago Food Wine & Music Festival

October 28, 2013

The Otago Food Wine & Music Festival is being held at Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin on Saturday November 23.

If you like the Facebook page and share the post on the contest before midnight tomorrow you’ll be in to win a double pass:

Win a double pass to the Festival. LIKE our page AND SHARE this post to be in the draw to win a double pass to the Otago Food Wine and Music Festival. Closes midnight Monday 28th October.

Music – Jackie Thomas, Benny Tipene, Tom Batchelor, Jody Direen, The Chills, Matt Langley, Kylie Price and others.

Enjoy scrumptious Otago wines, and gourmet food, on the pitch at the Forsyth Barr Stadium. November 23rd from 12 noon.

Tickets – Adults $49, Secondary School Students $25 (Ticket Direct).

Word of the day

October 28, 2013

Logorrhea – a tendency to extreme loquacity; pathologically excessive and often incoherent wordiness;  repetitious speech; incessant or compulsive talkativeness; wearisome volubility.talkativeness; wearisome volubility; excessive use of words.

Rural round-up

October 28, 2013

Industry award like winning ‘ham Lotto’ – Sally Rae:

Sue Morton describes winning gold in the 100% New Zealand Bacon and Ham Competition as like winning ”ham Lotto”.

Mrs Morton and her husband Gus, from Waitaki Bacon and Ham, won the gold award for their Hampshire Champagne sliced ham in the recent competition.

Retail meat industry specialist Matt Grimes, who has been a judge since the competition’s inception in 2008, described the entry as a ”standout”. . . .

Otago couple among six in award finals – Sally Rae:

Otago farmers Trevor and Karen Peters are among the six finalists in the Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition.

The Peters family operates a sheep and beef hill country farming enterprise across six properties. Nominees noted their commitment to the farming industry and their focus on succession planning.

Farming was a very high-cost business to get into but one with a low cash return, Mr Peters said.

”We have focused on a process for succession planning to ensure that business decisions on the property can focus on the long term, knowing that there will be a continuity of investment,” he said. . . .

Synlait Farms had five offers – Alan Williams:

Synlait Farms chief executive Juliet Maclean will increase her investment in the company as part of the planned takeover joint venture with Shanghai Pengxin.

If the takeover proceeds Maclean will receive just over $15 million for her 17.55% stake in the corporate dairy farmer but is required to invest $17m directly into her new 16.1% shareholding in the takeover vehicle SFL Holdings (SFLH). She will remain as chief executive and director of Synlait Farms. . . .

Taking Jersey butter to the top – Richard Rennie:

A small dairy company has tipped the usual processing model on its head, aiming to produce crafted, niche butter from one breed of cow, for the top-end food and restaurant trade. Richard Rennie investigates.

A couple of years ago Lewis Road Creamery founder Peter Cullinane had an epiphany in the most ordinary of places.

While trawling the dairy aisle of his Auckland supermarket for Danish Lurpak butter he wondered why he had to buy butter that had travelled 20,000km to get a brand that tasted good? . . .

Fury over eartag ‘spying’:

FARMERS are outraged at proposals by Meat and Livestock Australia to covertly sell to banks and rural lending institutions private information.

The farmer’s private information has been about the income they derive from the sale of their cattle and sheep.

A consultant’s report commissioned by the MLA – and leaked to the Australian Beef Association – says 10 financial institutions are keen to pay to automatically receive emails informing them every time a farmer who has a mortgage or debt sells his stock through the saleyards or to an abattoir.

The scheme, which the ABA likens to “spying for profit”, is made possible by the tracking of electronic eartags, which are now mandatory from birth for all cattle in all states, from farm to meatworks, under a scheme administered by the MLA. . .  Hat tip:

Focus on heat on livestock  – Nicloa Bell:

HOW livestock will react to warming global temperatures is the focus of a new study.

While it is commonly known that livestock production can be affected by exposure to heat, researchers from the University of Western Australia’s Institute of Agriculture and India’s Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University are working to determine the physiological and genetic basis for adaptation in animals as a response to increasing global temperatures.

Physiology professor Shane Maloney from UWA’s School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology is leading the project and said they hoped the research might help in the selection of livestock to improve production. . .

Not how but who and why

October 28, 2013

Electronic voting is one of the suggestions for improving participation in local body elections.

Vaughan Davis cautions against that:

. . . There is a danger – and by this I mean both a danger to democracy and a danger that we will waste public money – of rushing to the electronic solution without really understanding what’s happening here. People vote when they understand the issues and the candidates, when there’s a close contest and when they believe their vote will make a difference. 

The Electoral Commission looked at this in detail in their post mortem of the 2011 general election. Low trust in politicians, one-sided electoral races and a general lack of interest in politics were the main factors in choosing not to vote and there’s no reason to suspect local body elections would be any different.

Process and technology didn’t rate as major barriers and chief electoral officer Robert Peden indicated at the time that overseas trials showed online voting had not improved turnout. 

It’s easy to see, though, why the idea of electronic voting has the support it does. For the voter (well, the woulda-shoulda-coulda-voter) it’s a convenient excuse. “Of course I would have voted online! Definitely!” It’s also far easier to live with than accepting they don’t care enough about their communities to have a say every three years in who runs them. And for local bodies (or central government) building a website is a far more tangible and tickable box than, well, motivating the electorate. . .

Electronic voting would be easier than postal voting. There’d be no danger of losing your ballot papers nor the trouble some people appear to have in finding a post box to return them.

But postal voting takes away the sense of community you get in going to a polling booth on polling day, or casting a special vote beforehand and that would be just as much an issue with electronic voting.

However, the nub of the problem isn’t how we vote but why we vote, or don’t.

Voting requires engagement and interest in local bodies and knowledge of the people and issues.

Too few of us have that with councils and councillors.

Electronic communication and social media could help address that.

But electronic voting without engagement won’t.

Councils should be working on a strategy now to connect with and engage the people whose rates they spend and whose votes they’ll want in three years time.

Without that engagement the method making voting easier won’t make it any more likely that people will do it.


October 28, 2013

Oamaru, New Zealand’s Sharpest town, is vying to become the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

Gigatown Oamaru set a goal of 1,000 Facebook likes by today – and it’s exceeded it.

There were 1030 likes when I checked this morning.

It also has instructions on how to support the campaign:

Here it is folks, the # tag you should use on all your social media sites to spread the word about wonderful Gigatown Oamaru – Simply add the word #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam to any post and it will be measured! Start by sharing this po…st, and leaving a comment with those tags, lets see how we get on at the leaderboard today! We also earn 10 points for everyone who registers with the website, thats 10,000 points already if we all join! Click on the ‘Join up’ link at the top of their page to register!
It’s not hard to add #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam tocomments here, to like and comment on the Facebook page, do your own posts with the #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam on Facebook, Twitter or blogs.
Oamaru Life shows the enthusiasm already generated for the campaign:

. . . @ChorusNZ, the company responsible for New Zealand’s telephonic and internet infrastructure, is planning to “light up” one town with 1Gbps (1 gigabit per second) internet, giving it in one go the fastest internet not just in New Zealand but in the entire Southern Hemisphere. And in true New Zealand fashion, they’re going to choose the lucky town democratically, by counting the number of people who support that town’s bid to be the winner. How will they do that? By counting the number of social media posts that include that town’s specific hashtag, along with the number of people who go to the Gigatown website to support it.

Oamaru, our beloved home town, is in the running to be New Zealand’s first gigatown. To some, the idea of Oamaru becoming the gigatown may seem ludicrous. We are famed as being New Zealand’s best-preserved historic town, with 19th century architecture unmatched anywhere else in the country. But at the same time, we were recently picked as the “sharpest town” in New Zealand by our national television network, recognising the unparalleled civic pride that Oamaruvians show, along with the unique combination of characters who make Oamaru their home.

We firmly believe that Oamaru should not only be New Zealand’s “Steampunk Town”, as some know us, nor just its “Sharpest Town”, but also New Zealand’s “Fastest Town”, and therefore we are firmly supporting Oamaru’s bid to be New Zealand’s Gigatown. If you support us, please be sure to use our assigned hashtag, #gigatownoam, in your tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Tumblr posts, etc etc etc. We will be extremely grateful if you do! If you comment on this post, please include the hashtag (#gigatownoam) too, to give us an extra point! And if you would also express your support on the Gigatown homepage (click for the link here), we’d be thrilled! Thank you in advance for your support!

What are you waiting for?

Please leap over to the homepage and add your support.

I just did and Oamaru is leading with 1706 supporters, nearly twice as many as the second placed town which has 964 supporters.

Lou Reed 2.3.42 – 27.10.13

October 28, 2013

Lou Reed, musician and leader of the Velvet Underground, has died.

Not a Perfect Day for him and those who loved him, but this is one of the songs which will outlive him:

Happiness is enough loo paper

October 28, 2013

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s has set up a – Viceministerio Suprema Felicidad Social del Pueblo  – a Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness of the village.

It’s supposed to co-ordinate all the mission programmes started to eliminate poverty by former President Hugo Chavez.

“I have decided to create this Vice ministry and I have given it this name to honour Chávez and Bolívar,” Mr Maduro announced on Thursday in a televised speech made from the presidential palace. He said that the Vice ministry aimed to take care of the most “sublime, vulnerable and delicate, to those who are most loved by anyone who calls themselves a revolutionary, a Christian and Chavista.” . . .

In downtown Caracas, fruit vendor Victor Rey said he is now waiting for Maduro to create a vice ministry of beer.

“That would make me, and all the drunks, happy,” he said. . .

Housewife Liliana Alfonzo, 31, said that instead of a Supreme Happiness agency she would prefer being able to get milk and toilet paper, which disappear off store shelves minutes after arriving at stores.

“It’s a Calvary getting the ingredients for any meal,” she said.

Vice would be the operative word under this regime.

High inflation and government price controls have created shortages of basic goods.

Happiness isn’t the socialism this regime imposes.

It’s enough loo paper and other essential items most of us are fortunate enough to be able to take for granted.

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