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. . .

And

HAPPY NZ DAY!

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.


9/10

December 7, 2013

9/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.

I think it should be 10/10 though because I don’t think the answer to question 6 is correct.


Irrigate to prosper

December 7, 2013

We must irrigate to prosper – that’s the message of Irrigation NZ chief executive Andrew Curtis.

It’s about time we moved beyond the unhelpful rhetoric expressed in Mike Joy’s opinion piece (Intensification benefits untrue, Nov 29). New Zealanders need to grasp the connection between the productive use of water and our lifestyles.

Our neighbours over the ditch have. Everyone in Australia realises the importance of water to their economy, and the subsequent need for irrigation and modern water supply infrastructure. Australians are much better at seeing the big picture – the link between their quality of life, the availability, diversity and cost of food they consume and efficient water use – whether the water is used by urban residents or rural.

As a result there is bipartisan support for investment in rural water-supply infrastructure for the irrigation of crops. Australian politicians across the spectrum recognise it is in the national interest to do this. The continued socio-economic wellbeing of Australia and its food security depends on this. The political rhetoric across the Tasman is now about how this is done – not whether it should be.

New Zealand has two options when it comes to the future of water and agriculture.

Option 1: Do nothing and watch the gradual decline of agriculture in New Zealand.

Climate-change predictions show New Zealand is going to become warmer (plants will use more water when they grow) and drier (less water available for plants to use). The prevalence of “large-storm events” is also predicted to increase. This is perhaps more significant. Even if annual rainfall reduces only slightly, if more of it comes at once then most will not be able to be captured by the soils of productive land. Irrigation will become essential to enable full production in many areas – not just a tool to manage drought risk.

New Zealand’s export markets and the consumers are also becoming more demanding. Everyone wants safe, high-quality produce but few are prepared to pay the true cost of producing it in a sustainable manner. Recent surveys by IrrigationNZ suggest that, when a food price increase is linked to improved environmental outcomes, people state they are happy with the status quo. The environmental challenges created through land use intensification are ultimately created by everyone.

Given that New Zealand’s wellbeing (our economy) is founded on agricultural exports, doing nothing is not viable

Option 2: As a nation, we decide that water infrastructure for irrigation is essential to future-proof agriculture in our highly productive plains and foothill environments and we consciously invest in efficient and sustainable water management.

Irrigation has well-proven benefits. Irrigated land is at least three times more productive than dryland in New Zealand and irrigated farmers are far more financially resilient. For every $1 of public good, at least $3 is returned to the community. That is why irrigation is used as a socio-economic development tool globally by organisations such as the World Bank.

The challenge for irrigation is that in the past we’ve not been great at getting the sustainability component right. However, significant investment is now being focused in this area. More emphasis at the planning stages for irrigation projects through the Irrigation Acceleration Fund and greater investment in Smart (good-practice) irrigation are delivering better outcomes. However, it all comes back to affordability. Yes, irrigators can reduce their footprint and, yes, we can create infrastructure that minimises direct impact on the environment; however, one generation alone is not going to be able to do this. Irrigation is intergenerational investment and its financing model needs to better reflect this.

It would be useful if the excellent brains and resources of people such as Dr Joy or Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright could be redirected into helping irrigators get it right. We need to move past “problem definition”.

Irrigators are committed to turning things around over time so, please, let’s move forward together.

The column by Mike Joy this is responding to is here.


Saturday soapbox

December 7, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse – and to support #gigatownoamaru .


December 7 in history

December 7, 2013

521 Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland, was born (d. 597).

43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero was assassinated.

1724 – Tumult of Thorn – religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.

1732 – The Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden.

1776 – Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.

1860 – Joseph Cook, 6th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1947).

1862 – US Civil War: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

1863 Richard Sears, American department store founder, was born  (d. 1914).

1869 – American outlaw Jesse James committed  his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.

1888 Joyce Cary, Irish author, was born (d. 1957).

1900 Max Planck discovered the law of black body emission.

1921 Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, was born.

1923  Ted Knight, American actor, was born.

1928 Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political writer was born.

1930 W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcast video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast included the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.

1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton became the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.

1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Japanese Navy attacked the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia killed 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.

1962 Prince Rainier III of Monaco revised the principality’s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

1963 The Bassett Road machine gun murders took place.

Bassett Road machine-gun murders
1963 – Instant Replay was used for the first time in an Army-Navy game by its inventor, director, Tony Verna.
1970 The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise was held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.

1972  Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched. The crew took the photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they left the Earth.

1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor.

1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collided with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people.

1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashed near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shot his ex-boss travelling on the flight, then shot both pilots and himself.

1987 – Alianza Lima air disaster. A plane crashed killing all Alianza Lima team in Ventanilla, Callao, Peru.

1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale killed nearly 25,000, injures 15,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.

1988 Yasser Arafat recognised the right of Israel to exist.

1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Ferguson murdered six people and injured 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.

1995 The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada was officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, was shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.

2006 – A tornado struck Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.

2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill began in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collided with the Very Large Crude Carrier, Hebei Spirit.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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