Happy NZ Day

December 7, 2013

Happy NZ Day.

From the NZ Day Facebook page:
NZ DAY 07.12.13
The very first ever NZ DAY!

#itsagooddayto …celebrate our Kiwi spirit.

Today (07.12.13) we are bringing Kiwis together to do some good and to be the very best we can be for ourselves, each other, our communities and our environment.

It’s the Kiwi way. It’s what we do.

And we are having a load of fun while we’re doing it!

We are creating history today and in a few years we can look back and proudly say we were right here at the very beginning.

Get behind it and get involved. . .



THANK YOU so much for being passionate Kiwis and getting behind it and getting involved. We are creating history today and in a few years we can look back and proudly say we were right here at the very beginning.

Have an awesome celebration and please take some pics, tag NZ Day, and use the hashtags #nzday and #itsagooddayto.

We hope you have a thoroughly enjoyable day with your friends, whanau and communities.

Aroha nui, Sunil and the New Zealand Day Trustees — at Aotearoa New Zealandnz day badge

Celebrate Victorian Christmas at Totara Estate

December 7, 2013

Totara Estate, the birthplace of New Zealand’s meat industry is hosting a celebration of Victorian Christmas tomorrow.

Christmas trees and evergreen decorations adorned Victorian homes with beautiful homemade decorations. Making your own gifts and Christmas cards was also an essential Christmas activity.

Visitors will be shown how to make all sorts of hand crafted decorations including peg doll angels and santas, decorated cookies and popcorn chains. Everyone can have a go and take them home for their own Christmas tree or gifts.

There will be a story corner with traditional tales. Fun and games were also part of the celebrations and will include skittles and horseshoes and there will be revival of some good old fashioned Christmas parlour games for everyone to join in like pass the parcel and pint the tail on the donkey.

All good Victorian Christmas parties involve carol singing and listening to festive music and tea will be served with a traditional festive treat to delight the taste buds.

The Victorian Santa was often dressed in forest green rather than the red we know of today – and he will be calling in to Totara Estate with a sack of goodies. The Christmas tree is ready with a treat for Santa and carrots for the reindeer of course.

The celebrations will progress through the afternoon so plan to arrive promptly to enjoy the full experience. Victorian party dress welcome – but not essential!

The delightful Totara Estate shop, with its heritage and rural theme, will be open if visitors wish to find some Christmas gifts with a 10% discount for visitors who join the Christmas celebrations.

What: Victorian Christmas Celebration at Totara Estate

When: Sunday 8th

Time: 1pm – 4pm

Where: Totara Estate, 8km South Oamaru on State Highway 1

More on Totara estate here.

Word of the day

December 7, 2013

Zwodder – a feeling of drowsiness;  a drowsy, foolish frame of mind.

Rural round-up

December 7, 2013

Lochinver set for record price – Stephen Bell:

Lochinver Station on the Napier-Taupo Road is expected to set a New Zealand farm price record of more than $70 million.

Though bigger farms have been sold in the South Island Lochinver is the most productive rural property ever put up for sale in NZ, Bayleys managing director Mike Bayley said.

The land was waste and scrub when Sir William Stevenson bought it in 1958.

It is now being sold as Stevenson Group, one of the country’s biggest privately-owned companies, rebalances its investment portfolio to exclude farming, chief executive Mark Franklin said. . . .

Trade deals coming thick and fast – Alan Barber:

The TPP may not be happening as soon as expected, but free trade agreements with individual markets, Chinese Taipei and Peru, will come into effect, some aspects immediately, and provide more immediate rewards for our exporters.

Although multinational trade negotiations make more dramatic headlines, history suggests that they have a similar gestation period to an elephant, in fact quite a bit longer in the case of WTO rounds. The TPP looks as if it will follow a similar course because of the USA’s demands about trade partners’ internal arrangements, like Pharmac, and farmer lobbies in countries like Japan and South Korea. This makes it extremely difficult to conclude a binding agreement that meets the requirements of all the countries participating in the negotiations.

Unilateral trade agreements are not as highly regarded or sought after, but they are an essential part of international trade and, for New Zealand with its high trade dependency, very important to our future prosperity. . .

Police fear poaching fatality – Neil Ratley:

Farm workers and their houses are being caught in the spotlights of poachers, and southern police fear someone will be killed unless the illegal practice is stopped.

Constable Steve Winsloe of Winton said police and farmers were taking a collaborative approach to the problem to prevent a potential tragedy.

Landowners had had enough and were working with police to prevent poaching and other rural crime, he said.

“Farmers are getting caught in the spotlights when they are out working after dark. It just takes one poacher to see a glint of an eye that may not be an animal and they pull the trigger” he said.

“The last thing police want is a fatal shooting.” . . .

ANZCO bounces back into profit – Alan Williams:

ANZCO Foods has released early its trading result – a pre-tax profit of $12.6 million – in response to what it says are rumours about its financial strength.

The company was not only profitable in the year ended September 30 but increased its operating cashflow and equity ratio on a year earlier.

Revenue increased to $1.28 billion, from $1.21b previously.

It will also pay a dividend to shareholders, as it has done every year since the shareholding structure was put in place in 2001, chairman Sir Graeme Harrison said. . . .

Alliance operations on move – Collette Devlin:

The Alliance Group is in the process of transferring beef rendering operations to its new $25 million rendering plant at Lorneville in Invercargill.

Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff said the company started moving operations from the Mataura beef plant about a week ago.

It was also clearing out the rendering plant at Makarewa, where lamb slinks processing finished about a month ago, he said.

Alliance Group is consolidating its southern rendering operations at the new Lorneville plant to improve productivity. . . .

Flood of interest in storage dam idea– Matthew Littlewood:

The burgeoning Rangitata South Irrigation Scheme in South Canterbury has led to a rush of applications for water storage dams.

Environment Canterbury’s consents spokeswoman confirmed that none of the 21 applications within the Arundel-based scheme’s 16,000 hectare “command area” were declined, because all of them fitted within its notified Land and Water Regional Plan.

“To clarify – these are off-channel storage dams (no waterways were dammed) and these include four certificates of compliance (where a dam met the permitted activity requirements and no consent was required),” she said.

The capacity of the storage dams ranged from 8000 to 210,000 cubic metres. . . .

Saturday’s smiles

December 7, 2013
A man had been driving all night and by morning was still far from his destination.
He decided to stop at the next city he came to and park somewhere quiet so he could get an hour or two of sleep.
As luck would have it, the quiet place he chose happened to be on one of the city’s major jogging routes.
No sooner had he settled back to snooze when there came a knocking on his window. He looked out and saw a jogger running in place. “Yes?”
“Excuse me, sir,” the jogger said, “do you have the time?” The man looked at the car clock and answered, “8:15.”
The jogger said thanks and left. The man settled back again, and was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window and another jogger.
“Excuse me, sir, do you have the time?” “8:25!” The jogger said thanks and left. Now the man could see other joggers passing by and he knew it was only a matter of time before another one disturbed him.
To avoid the problem, he got out a pen and paper and put a sign in his window saying “I do not know the time!”
Once again he settled back to sleep. He was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window. “Sir, sir? It’s 8:45!”

#gigatownoamaru needs your help

December 7, 2013

A recalculation of Wanaka’s population resulted in it soaring to the top of Chorus’s gigatown competition.

Oamaru is still in a very creditable second place – and with your help we could get back to first.

If you’re not supporting another town, please sign up today to help Oamaru earn extra points and encourage friends and relations all aroudn the world to do the same:

Supporters World Promotion Rules

Become a Gigatown supporter and open up a whole new world.

Find supporters from all over your town and beyond to join your Gigatown’s cause and win.

Here’s how you can help your town win 25,000 Gigapoints and experience the amazing Leon Keer’s 3D art:

1. If you haven’t already joined your town’s supporters’ network click on the JOIN UP button now.

2. Invite your mates! Remember, you don’t have to live in a town to support it, so friends and family from further afield can support your cause, too.

Entries are open from 10am Thursday 5th December and close at midnight Saturday night, 7th December, 2013.

The town that adds the most supporters to their supporters’ network over the course of the promotion will win.

1st place – Leon Keer’s drawing in your town and 25,000 Gigapoints

2nd place – 15,000 Gigapoints

3rd place – 10,000 Gigapoints

In addition, any town that doubles its supporters over the weekend will receive a bonus of 10,000 Gigapoints.

Winners will be announced on this website. The first three placings will be announced on Sunday 8th December. Bonus winners will be announced and all points adjustments made on Wednesday 11th.

Click here to add your support for #gigatownoamaru.

It’s a year-long competition with the opportunity to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown at stake.

Milk payout going higher?

December 7, 2013

Fonterra is already forecasting a record payout for milk this season, could it go higher?

Dairy farmers will get an early Christmas present this week, in the form of a substantial increase to their already-high milk payouts.

NZX Agrifax analyst Susan Kilsby said world prices for whole milk powder (WMP), relentless Chinese demand and New Zealand’s export volumes indicated a milk price of $8.70 a kilogram milksolids (MS).

Fonterra has said it would make milk price, advance rate and dividend announcements after next week’s board meeting.

It is required by the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act to make a re-calculation before December 15, for the purpose of setting the raw milk price to competitors.

Should it follow Kilsby’s prediction on milk price, as well as maintain the dividend guidance at 32c a share, a payout forecast for the season of more than $9/kg MS could result.

Kilsby has also predicted milk production growth of 8%, if good pastoral conditions persist during summer and autumn. . . .

A higher payout and higher production would be great for farmers and would provide a significant boost for the wider economy.

It would also add to the trend of more dairy conversions and operations changing from conventional sheep and beef farming to dairy support.

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