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?

 


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