Sol3 Mio out-sells Lorde

December 23, 2013

Teenage singer Lorde has made the top of the charts internationally, but Auckland opera trio Sol3 Mio have taken the best-selling album in New Zealand.

. . . Despite it only being on sale for five weeks, it is the No. 1 selling album on this week’s Recorded Music New Zealand chart and the No. 1 selling New Zealand album for 2013.

The Samoan-New Zealand group is made up of brothers Amitai and Pene Pati, and cousin Moses Mackay. . .

You can watch. and listen to a Tagata Pasifika profile of the trio here.


Word of the day

December 23, 2013

Vagary – an unexpected and inexplicable change in a situation or in someone’s behaviour; an extravagant, erratic or unpredictable action,  course, instance manifestation, notion or occurrence.


Recycled music

December 23, 2013

The musical instruments are created from rubbish but what they produce is certainly not rubbish music.

CBS has a story on the Recycled Orchestra .

You can see more om Landfill Harmonic’s Facebook page.

There’s a story at making music out of trash at Sierra and Mother Jones says Their Instruments May Be Garbage, But the Music Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes.


Rural round-up

December 23, 2013

Positive steps to help mental health – Terry Tacon:

Like the mountain that dominates the skyline in Taranaki, the province’s farming industry has a dark side – the effect problems can have on farmers’ mental health.

Recognition of the issue prompted the region’s Rural Support Trust, with the assistance of Like Minds Taranaki, to get behind a publication called Feeling Down on the Farm – Mental Health in Rural Taranaki.

It’s a bid to give farmers somewhere to turn when they have problems and follows a similar publication in southern New Zealand in 2010. . .

Riding high on kindness – Tim Fulton:

A dairy family in Waikato has been part of a daisy chain of generosity that started with tanker drivers upgrading a young man’s trike.

Andrew Oliver, from Puketaha, had been rattling around on his trusty metal steed for a couple of decades.

So Fonterra’s tanker drivers rallied to give him something more modern, complete with a number plate proclaiming Andrew No.1 Fonterra Fan.

Andrew, who is almost 30, has a rare form of impaired brain development known as Fryns-Aftimos Syndrome.

He’s the only New Zealander with the condition and one of just 15 worldwide. He also has five types of epilepsy. . .

Andrew has spell-binding impact

Andrew Oliver inspired Andrew Lusty from the start.

As a Fonterra tanker driver, Andrew Lusty found quickly he would hear the other Andrew wheeling along on his trike before he could see him.

Drivers receive a message on their cab screens saying there is a disabled person on the Olivers’ farm to watch out for but Andrew usually races to the dairy shed like a whirlwind.

One night on the job driver Andrew gave his mate a new Fonterra hat. As he drove to the next property he did some thinking, then suggested to a colleague it would be a good idea to get Andrew a new trike. . .

Food security: an urban issue – Caspar van Vark:

According to the United Nations human settlements programme, UN Habitat, Africa is the fastest urbanising continent in the world. By 2050, 60% of all Africans will be living in cities.

But urbanisation in Africa is not going hand-in-hand with widespread economic growth: many cities are in fact seeing a proliferation of urban poverty. Food insecurity and undernutrition is therefore also increasingly an urban issue, and with urban people more dependent than rural populations on whatever food they can afford to buy, it’s tied closely to livelihoods.

A new project by the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC) is trying to address this by pulling together the issues of urban growth, migration, livelihoods and undernutrition, and drawing specific attention to the role of peri-urban ‘corridors’ of production outside cities. . .

Christmas wishes on-farm – Bruce Wills:

. . . Like farming the media isn’t immune from having its share of critics as it performs an invaluable role.  The term ‘fourth estate’ was coined for the media in the 17th Century to emphasise its importance but independence from Government.  While the traditional print media faces its challenges I agree with the journalist Rob Hosking; this is evolutionary pain as opposed to being an extinction event.  I believe that media quality will deliver readership quantity.

The shame perhaps being that quality can be somewhat uneven.  In the past couple of weeks there have been some major developments on the trade front but you wouldn’t know it from the scant attention it received from the broadcast media.  I was told one media person was scoffing over the newsworthiness of a tariff agreement with China-Taipei, which is worth $40 million to ‘NZ Inc’ in year one and over $70 million by year four.  Forget that.  They wanted to talk up the prospects of drought instead. . .

Fresh produce industry welcomes New Zealand Government’s recommendation to establish food safety centre:

The Produce Marketing Association Australia and New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the fresh fruit, vegetable, and floral supply chain, has welcomed an in-principle acceptance by the New Zealand Government of a recommendation to establish a centre of food safety science and research in New Zealand.

The establishment of a food safety centre was one of 29 recommendations released on Wednesday in the Dairy Food Safety Regulatory System report commissioned on the back of investigations into the Fonterra food safety scare, which resulted in New Zealand dairy products being blocked from entering foreign countries.

“A food safety centre in New Zealand will draw attention to the important issue of food safety and traceability preparedness,” CEO of PMA Australia-New Zealand Michael Worthington said today. . .


Progress

December 23, 2013


NZ as others see us

December 23, 2013


Water storage – essential economic infrastructure

December 23, 2013

This year’s economic growth has been good, but it would have been even better had there been more irrigation to off-set the impact on last summer’s drought.

Agricultural production has turned in a stellar performance in the September quarter, which has helped to lift Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the quarter by 1.4 percent. All this on the day China has overtaken Australia as our single largest export market.

“I can safely say ‘were back’ from the drought with agricultural production up 17 percent for the September quarter,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“That said, the lingering after effects of drought still means we’re down 5.6 percent compared to this point last year.

“To me, this reaffirms why water storage is essential economic infrastructure to meet not only surging demand for our primary exports, but whatever a changing climate will throw at us.

“I’ll leave it to the economists to deduce what the opportunity cost of this year’s drought is but small it is not. . .

This time last year most of the North Island was suffering from a drought.

Much of the country has had a wet spring and early summer but in some parts of Central Otago irrigation has been cut because rivers are too low.

Not every area is suitable for water storage but where it is it provides insurance against dry weather as well as providing opportunities for recreation and environmental enhancement.


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