Word of the day

November 15, 2013

Vorfreude – intense, anticipative joy derived from imaging the future; the joyful anticipation of imagining future pleasures.

#gigatownoamaru is full of vorfreude about this weekend’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations and the prospect of becoming the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


Childish people trying to play grown-up

November 15, 2013

Quote of the day:

”. . . As much of an attraction as the Moeraki Boulders are, I’m happy to lay a sizeable wager that when the first boat does arrive in New Zealand waters, it won’t be sailing past the West Coast, rounding Stewart Island, and making its way up to Oamaru.

”These are childish people trying to play grown-up. If they want to spend their days walking up and down the beach staring at the ocean, perhaps they could do something useful and bring a rubbish bag to tidy up while they’re at it.” Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.

He was responding to reports that Right Wing Resistance New Zealand (RWR) had delivered pamphlets seeking men to form ”armed coastal patrols” to ”protect” the coast from ”people smugglers” and ”illegal foreign fishing”.

The Minister was supported by Waitaki Mayor:

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said Mr Chapman and his group were ”a joke” and the idea of armed boat patrols was ”just more idiocy from a group of people that are really not bright enough to know what they are doing”.

Quite.

If #gigtownoamaru becomes the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown  it will be even more attractive to immigrants but it is not in need of this sort of defence.


Rural round-up

November 15, 2013

 

Indonesia – islands of opportunity for New Zealand agriculture:

Indonesia is emerging as a market which needs large volumes of food and agricultural products to satisfy its fast-growing consumer demand. And New Zealand is well placed to capitalise on this demand and grow trade with Indonesia – a significant neighbour – according to new industry report.

In the report, ‘Indonesia – islands of opportunity’, global agricultural banking specialist Rabobank says the economic transformation underway in Indonesia – which is seeing the country emerge as an economic and political powerhouse in South-East Asia – is leading to rapidly-increasing demand for consumer goods, including food.

And with pressure on its natural resources limiting the country’s ability to boost local food production, Indonesia will continue its reliance on imported agricultural commodities. . .

One voice vital for infant formula industry:

New Zealand’s infant formula industry must speak with one voice if it is to achieve best practice and regain the faith of export markets, Infant Nutrition Council (INC) Chief Executive Jan Carey said in Dunedin today.

Ms Carey was speaking at the Global Food Safety Forum Meeting which was being held in New Zealand for the first time. 

She said achieving best practice in the industry depended on a number of vital ingredients. . .

Maximising the productive value of heifers:

Some heifers are calving at only 82% of their mature weight rather than the target of 90%, recent dairy industry statistics reveal.

With some farmers struggling to keep condition on stock during the drought last year, further support may be required to assist heifers to reach target weights.

SealesWinslow Nutritionist Wendy Morgan says that the strategic use of animal feed can assist heifers to reach their target weight by the time they calve, resulting in the animals being more profitable in the herd, using the nutrients and energy from pasture for production of milk solids, rather than for growth.  . . .

2013 New IPO Opens Dairy Sector to Retail Investor:

New Zealand’s leading dairy farm manager MyFarm today launched an initial public offer (IPO) of shares in the first new dairy farm investment to be immediately quoted on its new securities trading platform, MyFarm Trading.

The IPO of GCF Investments Limited will for the first time give New Zealand retail investors access to both a MyFarm syndicate investment, and a facility to trade that investment, overcoming one of the principal barriers to investment in the dairying sector. . .

Wolf Blass tops off outstanding year:

Wolf Blass tops off an outstanding year being named ‘International Winemaker of the Year’ at the 2013 International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Leading Australian winery, Wolf Blass, has been named International Winemaker of the Year at the 2013 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London overnight.

This is the third time that Wolf Blass has won this highly acclaimed award, the first being 1992 followed by 2002. . .

Remarkable success continues for Gibbston Valley School House Pinot Noir at the 2013 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

Multi award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery is celebrating once again after receiving its fourth consecutive Pure Gold Medal for its premium 2012 School House Pinot Noir at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The results of this year’s awards were issued earlier this week (November 13 2013) by the New Zealand Winegrowers Association marking an unprecedented success for the winery. . .


Friday’s answers

November 15, 2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.?

2. The Taming of the Shrew was involved in which Cole Porter musical?

3. It’s bise in French, bacio in Italian, beso in Spanish and  kihi in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Philematology is the study of what?

5. Should we follow Latin and other countries where greetings and farewells among friends are more tactile?

Points for answers:

Alwyn wins an electronic punnet of strawberries for a clean sweep and a bonus for poetry. I have a vague memory from English lectures that he was on opium when he wrote that poem.

Grant gets four with bonuses for Greek and Roman.

Andrei also gets four and a bonus for correcting my spelling, and jogging my memory – I think that question was the only one of those you posed which I got right.

I forgot to ask a question to which #gigatownoamaru could have been the answer.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


What would happen?

November 15, 2013

From UK Farmers Weekly:

Dear Farmers Weekly,

I’ve been reading the Farmers Weekly October 25 about the robot tractors’s I think that they should band banned because they are dangerus and there will be no jobs for me when I get older. So I think we should stick to the tractors. What would happen if a robot tractor went home through a town like Bury?

From Charlie Sellers age 8.

Letter


Closing immunisation gap

November 15, 2013

Good news on the immunisation front:

There has been an unprecedented increase in the Maori immunisation rates over the past four years.

Immunisation rates for Maori children have improved so much in the past four years that the Maori rates are now equal to or better than the New Zealand European rate in more than half of the country’s district health boards (DHBs).

Two-year-old Maori children have higher immunisation rates than New Zealand European children in Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Lakes, Northland, Tairawhiti, Wairarapa, Waitemata and West Coast DHBs. And equal rates in Canterbury, Hutt Valley, Southern and Taranaki DHBs.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says results for Pacific communities are even better.

“Immunisation rates for Pacific children are equal to or better than the New Zealand European children in 17 DHBs. Even more impressive, in eight of these DHBs every single Pacific child was fully immunised at two years of age,” says Mr Ryall.

End of financial year data from the Ministry of Health shows 90 per cent of Maori children and 95 per cent of Pacific children were fully immunised by their second birthday.

In 2007, only 59 per cent of Maori children and 63 per cent of Pacific children were fully immunised – this equates to a 50 per cent improvement.

“This is a tremendous result and a tribute to the hard work of general practice teams, Well Child providers, community outreach teams, midwives, district health board staff and the national immunisation programme team.

“For the past four years these immunisation teams have taken our country from having one of the lowest immunisation rates in the world to having one of the highest. They have also removed the significant difference in rates between different groups that we had in the past,” says Mr Ryall.

Over at Sic Sci Blogs Helen Petousis Harris writes:

. . . This is bloody amazing and we should feel really proud. Most health care services have equity gaps and we have shown in immunisation that these are not inevitable but can be overcome. . . .

In the mid-90s the NZ government decided to solve the problem and over the next decade or so lots of talking and reports and strategies happened. Coverage slowly started to improve thanks to increased awareness of the problem, a united belief that we can and will fix it, champions of the cause at the national, regional and local levels, and improved reporting so that providers had a better idea of their performance. But the real game changers came when firstly, immunisation coverage was placed on a list of health priorities and then targets were set.  Alongside this the institution of the National Immunisation Register in 2005 was the essential tool required to monitor progress and find the children missing out.  Immunisation coverage rates have tracked rapidly upward ever since for a whole range of reasons: overall a priority focus at all levels, working together, improving organisational performance, feedback loops and teamwork. Amazing how that motivates people!!  In particular real credit must go to general practice where the bulk of the service delivery occurs, and to the unsung heroes – the practice nurses – for all the commitment and hard work!

This needs repeating: But the real game changers came when firstly, immunisation coverage was placed on a list of health priorities and then targets were set.

That’s not rocket science but it’s made a significant improvement.

This is  is good not just for those immunised but those who can’t be.

Herd immunity requires most people to be immunised and the higher immunisation rates are the smaller the risk of disease outbreaks.

On a related note, the count-down was on for the eradication of polio internationally but now there’s been an outbreak in Syria:

At least 22 people – most of them babies and toddlers – are now believed to have contracted polio in Syria, the World Health Organization has reported.

If confirmed, it would be the first outbreak of the disease there in 14 years. Syria’s Health Ministry began an immunisation drive on Thursday.

Before Syria’s civil war began in 2011, some 95% of children were vaccinated against the disease.

Now, Unicef estimates 500,000 children have not been immunised. . .

Polio has been largely eradicated in developed countries but remains endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Worldwide, polio cases have fallen from an estimated 350,000 at the start of a WHO-led immunisation campaign in 1988 to just 223 reported cases last year.

There is no known cure, though a series of vaccinations can confer immunity. Young children are particularly susceptible to paralytic polio, the most serious form of the disease.

Rotary International is working to eradicate polio.


Manufacturing a crisis

November 15, 2013

The opposition has been doing its best to manufacture a crisis on manufacturing.

The facts don’t support their emotion:

The manufacturing sector expanded for the 11th month in a row in October.

The latest BNZ-Business New Zealand performance of manufacturing index rose 1.5 points to 55.7. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Compared with 12 months ago, the index is now at the highest level since 2007.

BNZ economist Craig Ebert says unusually, all the parts that make up the index were in expansion mode. . .

If there’s a worry it’s not the demise of manufacturing its lack of capacity to cope with expected demand.


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