Word of the day

December 4, 2013

Ramfeezled – exhausted by overwork; fatigued; overspread;


Rural round-up

December 4, 2013

Govt stepping up on forestry safety:

The Government has stepped up its efforts to improve forestry safety and Labour Minister Simon Bridges is calling on those in the industry to do the same. 

“The Government is committed to implementing the major step change in workplace health and safety that we need to see in New Zealand, which will help bring down fatalities and serious injuries in the forestry sector,” Mr Bridges says. 

“WorkSafe NZ, the new Crown agency dedicated to workplace health and safety, will go live on 16 December.  It has a very clear mandate to bring down the death and injury toll – by 25 per cent by 2020 – in our workplaces.  The Government has allocated an additional $30 million to WorkSafe to strengthen education and enforcement. . .

The science behind white clover decline – Doug Edmeades:

I’m hearing a cacophony of denial out there in farm-land. I am not talking about the local sports teams or politicians. I am referring to my pet hobby-horse – white clover.

We give ourselves so many reasons to justify why white clover no longer thrives on our farms like it did back in Dad’s day – it must be the dreary droughts, or the fickle flea, the evil weevil, miss’s management or mister drug, fertiliser N. The list goes on.

I have no doubt that these events, practices and insects have some effect – sometimes all of them – but I’m not willing to concede that we should take an early shower, pack the kit and retire to our clover-less farms. . .

Minister welcomes resumption of trade negotiations with Korea:

Trade Minister Tim Groser welcomed Korea’s decision to resume formal negotiations toward a free trade agreement, following a meeting today in Bali with his Korean counterpart, Minister of Trade Yoon Sang-jick.

“The resumption of negotiations was discussed by Prime Minister John Key and Korean President Park Geun-hye during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Korea in July. I am pleased that their shared determination to conclude a free trade agreement has led to this point,” Mr Groser says.

“This is an important step. Korea is one of New Zealand’s biggest and most important trading partners.” . . .

Shareholders welcome Synlait Milk plans for growth:

Synlait Milk’s performance for the 2013 financial year and its plans for the future were welcomed at its Annual Meeting of Shareholders, held today in Christchurch.

Managing Director Dr John Penno said FY13 had been a good year.

“The IPO was successful and we are very pleased to welcome all new shareholders. During the year product volumes and margins continued to grow. This helped the business deliver on its forecast which was a significant improvement over performance for the previous financial year.” . .

New pesticide approved for use:

The Environmental Protection Authority has approved an application for a new pesticide to control sucking insects including aphids and greenhouse whitefly.

Dow Agro Sciences Limited applied to import and manufacture GF-2032, a pesticide containing the chemical sulfoxaflor, for use on a variety of commercial crops.

GF-2032 provides a more effective and less toxic means of pest control compared to some other pesticides currently available, such as organophosphates. . .

Agria repays $5 million loan, interest owed to Livestock Improvement:

(BusinessDesk) – Livestock Improvement, the farmer-owned bull semen and dairy genetics company, said China’s Agria has made early repayment on the balance of a loan that allowed it to take control of PGG Wrightson.

LIC provided the loan as part of Agria’s $144 million partial takeover of Wrightson in 2011 and last year gave the Chinese company until March 2014 to repay the balance, extending an earlier deadline. The funding allowed Agria to take control of New Zealand’s biggest rural services company including its valuable portfolio of proprietary seeds. . .

The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Vote for your future meat Co-Op shareholders urged – Tony Chaston:

Lamb schedules continue to ease as the emphasis changes from chilled to frozen as processing volumes build, but prices are at least $10 a head better than last year and demand is good with low stocks on hand.

Pre Christmas weaning drafts are common and operators are keen to market all killable lambs while procurement premiums are still in place.

Demand for early cull ewes is strong at the saleyards with many yardings of good cutting animals averaging $90-$100 a head. . . .

 


If NZ was a village

December 4, 2013

Statistics NZ has produced a graphic based on census data showing what New Zealand would look like if it was a village of 100 people.

Forty nine of the people are male, 51 female.

Fourteen of them are Maori and five of those are aged under 15.

Seventy people in  he village were born in New Zealand, 24 were born overseas and six don’t know where they

were born.

Seventy are European, 14 are Maori, 11 Asian, 7 Pacific, 2 are described as other and 1 is Latin American/MIddle Eastern/African.

Ninety people speak English, three speak Maori, 2 each speak Samoan or Hindi, and 1 each speak Northern Chinese,  French, Yue, Sinitic not further defined, German, Tongan, Tagalog, Afrikaans, Spanish or Korean.

Sevens peak other languages including NZ sign language.

Eighty people are aged 15 or older.

Four out of 5 have a formal qualification and three out of 5 Maori aged over 15 are in full time work.

The village has 10 professionals, 8 managers, 5 clerical and administrative workers, 5 trades people and technicians, 5 labourers, 4 community and personal service workers, 4 sales workers and 2 machinery operators or drivers.

Three men and one woman earn more than $100,001.

Four men and two women earn $70,001 – $100,000.

Thirteen men and 12 women earn $30,001 – $70,000.

Fifteen men and 25 women earn $30,000 or less.

Four men and four women didn’t state their earnings.

The difference in median income for men and women is $13, 400. The median for Maori is $22,500 with a median for Maori men of $27,200 and Maori women $19,900.

Two things stand out: there are no New Zealanders in the village and no-one involved in the agriculture, horticulture or other food production.


GDT up 3.9%

December 4, 2013

The price index increased 3.9% in today’s GlobalDairyTrade auction.

The price of anhydrous milk fat increased 2.7%; butter was up 4.5%; butter milk powder was up 4.6%;; cheddar was down 1.5%; lactose was up 6.1%; milk protein concentrate increased 5.9%; rennet casein soared 18. 9%; skim milk powder increased 5.6% and whole milk powder was up 3.4%.

 

GDT Trade Weighted Index Changes

gdt dec 4

 


Banks calls media conference @ 11 UPDATED

December 4, 2013

Act leader John Banks and party president John Boscawen have called a media conference at 11am.

It will be to announce:

a) Banks is going to resign from parliament.

b) He’ll stay in parliament but won’t stand again at the next election.

c) He’s going to undertake a citizen’s initiated referendum calling for Len Brown to resign as mayor of Auckland so he (Banks) can stand for that position.

d) There is more to Act than two Johns.

e) ?

UPDATE:

The answer was b:

Speaking to reporters at a press conference this morning, Mr Banks said: It’s time for me to move on from this place”.

He referred to the sentencing of his parents 50 years ago to long prison terms.

“I stood outside the High Court as a 17 year old absolutely committed to a liftetime of hard work honest endeavour and public service to try and balance the public ledger.”

“Anyone who knows me well knows I would not file a false return of anything.

He was now focused on the “long triangulated legal process to clear my name”.

“I will not be saying anything more about the particulars of the case now before the court except that I’m not fearful of the process or where it ends.”

There is a place on the political spectrum for a party to the right of National.

Can Act survive to do that or is the brand now so tarnished it would be better to start afresh?

 

 


Chch one of world’s 33 resilient cities

December 4, 2013

The Rockefeller Foundation has named Christchurch as one of the world’s 33 resilient cities.

It says:

Three years ago, Christchurch experienced a sequence of earthquakes, which included an aftershock that produced the highest peak ground accelerations on record. The initial earthquake had a devastating effect on residential suburbs affected by liquefaction and lateral spread. Hundreds of commercial buildings have been demolished and thousands of homes have had to be rebuilt. Extensive damage was caused to schools and hospitals, and essential infrastructure. Yet, the city was able to re-establish essential functions quickly. The economy did not suffer as would be expected, due to the well-planned location of revenue-generating activities. The aftershocks continue today—the city has experienced more than 12,000 since 2010. And residents’ mind-set has changed following the shared experience. The city and its people are an example of a city “bouncing back.” Developing a resilience plan is a priority for the city’s recovery so communities, buildings and infrastructure and systems are better prepared to withstand catastrophic events.

Those of us who visit occasionally have some understanding of the challenges faced by, and still facing, the city.

But only those who live there can appreciate what the city and its people have gone, and continue to go, through.

You can not blame those who have decided to move elsewhere. But nor can you fail to admire those who have stayed and are doing their best to rebuild the city, not just in a physical sense but as a community.

Their resilience is an inspiration.


More than a long blink

December 4, 2013

Anyone’s who’s sat through a meeting where your attention isn’t fully engaged on proceedings knows the urge to have a long blink.

This looks more than a very long blink.

https://twitter.com/SamuelJaffe/status/407810371878006784

Are we paying him to sleep?

 


Gingerbread cathedral

December 4, 2013

Oamaru’s  award-winning Pen-y-Bryn Lodge has many claims to fame including its category A listed historic house, its gourmet meals and its warm hospitality.

It is also has a reputation for the annual gingerbread creations which co-owners James Boussy and James Glucksman have been making since 1997.

This year’s was unveiled today:

The Oamaru Mail has another photo.


NZ still least corrupt country

December 4, 2013

New Zealand is at the top of the global ranking for transparency, again.

New Zealand had been ranked the least corrupt country in the world for the eighth year running, Justice Minister Judith Collins says.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index released today ranked New Zealand first, equal with Denmark, out of 176 countries for having the lowest perception of corruption in the public sector.

“One of New Zealand’s biggest assets internationally is its reputation for being corruption free,” Ms Collins says. 

“People who live, do business and invest in New Zealand know that they can trust our laws and our government to protect their rights and freedoms. This reflects the integrity of our system and the people who work in it.”

Ms Collins says this latest ranking is a huge economic asset and will continue to open doors for New Zealand business around the world, making it easier for them to attract valuable foreign investment and skilled workers.

New Zealand is also ranked first on the Forbes magazine list of the Best Countries for Business, partially due to the high trust in our public sector, and our transparent and stable business climate.

“Creating and maintaining a clean government requires ongoing work and constant vigilance and that the Government is not complacent about its standing,” Ms Collins says.

This year the Government has announced a range of initiatives to prevent corruption and further enhance transparency. These include:

  • the development of the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill which will strengthen New Zealand’s bribery and corruption offences and allow New Zealand to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption;
  • the development of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy which will cover the prevention, detection, investigation and remedy of bribery and corruption across both private and public sectors;
  • joining the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral initiative committed to promoting transparency and open government by empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies;
  • increasing the transparency of the judiciary by making all court decisions available to the public online;
  • the coming-into-force of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act which will significantly improve the ability to detect and investigate crimes like corruption.

New Zealand’s score of 91 is one point higher than last year.

Continuing to top the index is something of which we can be proud but it is not an area where we can rest on our laurels.

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world.

The Index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem.  . .

The world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.

Clicking on the link will take you to a map which shows how widespread corruption is.

It isn’t a coincidence that least corrupt countries have stronger economies and more corrupt countries are poorer.

Lack of corruption and economic progress are linked.


December 4 in history

December 4, 2013

306 – Martyrdom of Saint Barbara.

771 – Austrasian King Carloman died, leaving his brother Charlemagne King of the complete Frankish Kingdom.

1110 – First Crusade: The Crusaders sacked Sidon.

1259 – Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.

1563 – The final session of the Council of Trent was held (it opened on December 13, 1545).

1619 – 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembarked in Virginia and gave thanks to God (this is considered by many to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas).

1676 –  Battle of Lund: A Danish army under the command of King Christian V of Denmark engaged the Swedish army commanded by Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt.

1745  Charles Edward Stuart’s army reached Derby, its furthest point during the second Jacobite rising.

1791 The first edition of The Observer, the world’s first Sunday newspaper, was published.

1795  Thomas Carlyle, Scottish writer and historian, was born (d. 1881) .

1835  Samuel Butler, English writer, was born (d. 1902).

1867 – Former Minnesota farmer Oliver Hudson Kelley founded the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (better known today as the Grange).

1872 The crewless American ship Mary Celeste was found by the British brig Dei Gratia (the ship had been abandoned for 9 days but was only slightly damaged)

1881 The first edition of the Los Angeles Times was published.

1892  Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain, was born (d. 1975).

1918  U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sailed for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.

1930 Ronnie Corbett, Scottish actor, was born.

1939 –  HMS Nelson was struck by a mine (laid by U-31) off the Scottish coast.

1942 – In Warsaw, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz set up the Żegota organization.

1942 – Carlson’s patrol during the Guadalcanal Campaign ended.

1943 – World War II: In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaimed a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.

1943 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed down the Works Progress Administration, because of the high levels of wartime employment in the United States.

1945 – By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approved United States participation in the United Nations

1949 Pamela Stephenson, New Zealand-born actress, was born.

1952 Great Smog of 1952: A cold fog descended upon London, combining with air pollution and killing at least 12,000 in the following months.

1954 The first Burger King opened in Miami, Florida.

1958 – Dahomey (present-day Benin) became a self-governing country within the French Community.

1966 – The state monopoly on commercial radio broadcasting was challenged by the pirate station Radio Hauraki’s first scheduled transmission from the vessel Tiri in the Colville Channel.

Radio Hauraki rules the waves

1971 The Montreux Casino was set ablaze by someone wielding a flare gun during a Frank Zappa concert; the incident would be noted in the Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water“.

1971 – McGurk’s Bar bombing: An Ulster Volunteer Force bomb kills 15 civilians and wounds 17 in Belfast.

1977 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 is hijacked and crashed in Tanjong Kupang, Johor, killing 100.

1978  Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco, California’s first female mayor.

1980   Led Zeppelin officially disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25th.

1991 Journalist Terry A. Anderson was released after 7 years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut.

1991 Captain Mark Pyle piloted Clipper Goodwill, a Pan American World Airways Boeing 727-221ADV, to Miami International Airport ending 64 years of Pan Am operations.

1993 – A truce was concluded between the government of Angola and UNITA rebels.

1998 – The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, was launched.

2005 – Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protested for democracy and call on the Government to allow universal and equal suffrage.

2006 – An adult giant squid was caught on video for the first time by Tsunemi Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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