Word of the day

November 10, 2013

Guanxi – a network of social connection built on mutual trust and the balancing of debts by returning favours so that the benefits of the relationship are shared by all; (in China) the system of social networks and influential relationships which facilitate business and other dealings.

#gigatownoamaru is building social networks in its quest to become the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

Will it be UFM?

November 10, 2013

Maori co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell was guest speaker at the United Future conference.

United Future has had several manifestations and names since it was first formed to fight the first MMP election in 1996.

In its many changes it’s absorbed several other parties.

Does Flavell’s guest spot at the conference mean it’s looking to take on/over another?

UFM is an abbreviation of unique manuka factor, could it also soon stand for United Future Maori?

#gigatownoamaru is united in the quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

Rural round-up

November 10, 2013

Grass-fed meat promises to revive health benefits – Gerald Piddock:

Farming and consuming grass-fed red meat might just save the planet.

This form of farming was completely sustainable, nutritional therapist Nora Gedgaudas told farmers and visitors at the World Angus Forum in Rotorua.

It is also the predominant method of farming livestock in New Zealand.

“Grass-fed meat may just be the most healthy and sustainable food source on Earth,” she said.

Much of the earth’s landmass was unsuitable for agriculture, yet it could support grazing livestock while providing nutritionally dense food, she said. . .

1105kg steer continues tradition– Tim Cronshaw:

A friesian and charolais cross steer tipped the scales at 1105 kilograms to take the heaviest steer title in the Prime Cattle Competition at Canterbury Agricultural Park.

Dunsandel farmer John McDrury added a second title to his collection at the pre-Canterbury A & P Show event this week, after winning in 2010 with a 1250kg steer. His grandson, Jack McDrury, won in 2011 with a 1000kg charolais.

The supreme champion animal was a limousin heifer, which also won the best single heifer title for Jeannette and Ralph Adams from Flaxton, near Rangiora. . .

Bloodthirsty ticks on a quest:

BLOODTHIRSTY ADULT TICKS are on a quest right now and farmers in the North Island in tick-prevalent areas should be checking cattle and talking to their veterinarian, say DairyNZ.

They should be assessing their risk in an effort to limit the spread of a new strain of the blood-borne parasite Theileria, says DairyNZ.

Cases of cattle being affected by the new Ikeda strain of Theileria orientalis, which is carried by ticks and causes anaemia, have been on the increase since late 2012, particularly in the upper half of the North Island. . .

Stock shift sees Molesworth road open earlier  – Tony Benny:

The Molesworth Station road has opened early this year, instead of the usual December 28, thanks to a change in farming practice and continuing efforts to show the historic high country property off.

“Our goal is that over their lifetime, everybody in New Zealand comes and has a look and gets a feel of what they own,” said Molesworth manager Jim Ward.

The public has previously been kept off the 59-kilometre road that links Hanmer with Marlborough’s Awatere Valley until close to New Year, because of fears that they could interfere with farming operations.

This year the road opened two months earlier, at Labour Weekend, thanks to young cattle being sent to finishing blocks in Hanmer rather than being kept on the station. . .

Bush v city: why I won’t be joining the exodus from rural Australia – Gabrielle Chan:

From wide open spaces to a genuine sense of community, country Australia, let me count the ways I love thee.

So the bush is bleeding. No one wants to live here. Just a few of us hardy souls left, it appears.

We were told this month rural Australians are falling in love with the beaches – that coastal strip that rings the country, with all its white sands, clear blue seas, temperate climate, its schools and hospitals, its shopping malls and movie theatres.

Well all I can say is: what a bunch of tossers.

Granted, as a city girl, I could not initially see the attractions that lay beyond the tall dark handsome farmer who lured me westward out of my three-metre-wide Surry Hills terrace and into the great open spaces.

Granted, I did spend a fair bit of time walking through the paddocks carrying a large branch, suffering from some agoraphobic belief that all this space without a single human had to hold some hidden monster that would emerge from the morning fog to attack me.

Ah, but like most affairs, the delights of rural life crept up slowly and now I have fallen in love with the bush. . .

#gigatownoamaru has fallen in love with the goal of being the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

Little matters

November 10, 2013

Open large picture

You can sign up to a daily dose of whimsy like this at Story People by Brian Andreas.

Open to the new

November 10, 2013

The core idea of the New Zealand Story, launched by  the government this week, is that New Zealand is Open to the New.

“Many smaller businesses in particular have been calling for a New Zealand Story that explains what New Zealand has to offer and what makes us unique,” Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“When New Zealand exporters first go out into the world or visit a new market, they need something which places New Zealand and their business into context.  We are a small country, and often outsiders don’t understand who we are, how innovative we are, and what drives us as a country.”
“This initiative is about broadening the perception of New Zealand internationally, beyond the scenic beauty of the country to include attributes like our innovation and resourcefulness, our unique Māori culture, our integrity and our welcoming friendly approach.

“The brief was to generate a compelling, but authentic, story which will differentiate New Zealand from other countries and showcase what we have to offer around the world.

“It’s not about replacing Tourism New Zealand’s 100 per cent pure branding. That has been a remarkable success and will continue to be at the heart of our international tourism brand.”

The ‘New Zealand Story’ was developed over the last year with extensive input from leaders in the primary sector, manufacturing, wider government, services, export education and Māori, and was tested in six key and emerging markets. In total, 200 people from 40 organisations in New Zealand and overseas were consulted.

“The New Zealand Story package will include video, key messages, photos, music and guidelines for use. The elements that we’re launching today will bring the story to life right across our export sectors.  They are based on our core values – our warmth and friendliness, our kaitiaki (care of people and place); integrity; and resourcefulness,” Mr Joyce says.

“While New Zealand’s reputation scores well across these attributes, we need to keep telling our story in order to fill the gap between people’s understanding of New Zealand and the positioning required to ensure the world ‘buys’ from New Zealand.” . . . 

The New Zealand Story video is here.

The core idea of the New Zealand Story is that New Zealand is Open to the New. Our invitation to the world is: “Welcome to the country of open spaces, open hearts and open minds”.

Open to the New . . . open spaces, open hearts and open minds. That works for me.

Five years delivering for NZers

November 10, 2013

Remember how it was five years ago?

Prime Minister John Key reminds us:

Five years ago, a combination of the Global Financial Crisis and poor government decision-making meant New Zealand was teetering.

The economy was in recession. Government spending under Labour had risen by 50% in five years. Families were battling high inflation and mortgage rates of over 10%. One in five teenagers were leaving school unable to read and write properly. Forecasts for unemployment were growing.

That’s what Labour delivered in nine years.

That was when voters turned to National.

New Zealanders wanted change. They wanted greater security, and better prospects. They wanted policies that they knew made economic sense.

The day after we were elected, we got to work. And we haven’t stopped working since.

A Global Financial Crisis and devastating earthquakes would have knocked back the most robust of economies, and the most resilient of people. But the Government and New Zealanders have persevered.

We have worked together and it’s that combination of effort and direction which has got us to the much stronger position we enjoy today. New jobs are being created. The economy is growing, and forecast to be among the top handful of countries for growth in the developed world.

Inflation is at record lows. And so are mortgage interest rates. The government is on track to surplus.

We’ve made big improvements to the public services families rely on – like healthcare and education. More surgery is happening than ever before, and if you have children at primary school, under our government you are actually entitled to know how they’re going.

It’s taken five years to reach this point, and there is so much more improvement to come. Our clear four-point plan is working.

We’re responsibly managing the government’s finances, because that’s our job.

We’re building a more competitive and productive economy, because that will provide more opportunities for job-seekers whether they’re just entering the workforce, or whether they’re gradually moving out of it. It will also provide more security for all of us, and our children.

We’re rebuilding Christchurch because it needs to be done.

And we’re delivering better public services, because you and your family deserve better results from your taxes.

We know things are still tough for lots of people, but five years after we were first elected, the economy is in much better shape, prospects are good, and the future is brighter.

No-one is pretending that everyone is doing well and there aren’t still some very big problems to tackle.

But National inherited a mess of Labour’s making and difficulties were compounded by the GFC and Christchurch earthquakes.

In spite of that we’re now well down the track back to surplus, economic indicators are positive and we’re the envy of many other countries.

We’re only part way into a long journey but we’re heading in the right direction and we’re making progress.

And five years on, we’ve still got a Prime Minister and Finance Minister who get on with each other and are getting on with the job of delivering for New Zealanders.

Photo: After five years of government together, Bill and John are still going strong. http://nzyn.at/1gv0bwX

Green Taliban’s place at fringes

November 10, 2013

Quote of the day:

. . . He also called for a stronger voice for environmentalists in the political centre, who he called the “purple-greens”, saying the environmental debate had been taken over by the political left.

“In an open society, there is a place for the Green Taliban, but it is at the fringes, and not centre stage,” he said. . . Peter Dunne.

Just as economic development shouldn’t come at the expense of the environment, sound environmental policies shouldn’t handicap economic growth.

In #gigatownoamaru we’re supporting environmental and economic development in the campaign to become the Southern Hemisphere’s first gigatown.

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