Word of the day

January 13, 2014

Galactagogue – a food or drug that promotes or increases the flow of milk; inducing milk secretion.


Rural round-up

January 13, 2014

Inside this hut you see the sky – Sally Rae:

Remote Dansey Pass boasts a hut with all the home comforts. Not only does it have the kitchen sink, it also has the ultimate in hut luxury – a flat-screen television, as Sally Rae reports.

An entry in the visitor’s book says it all.

”Headed back to hut to watch rugby on the new edition. As Neville would say, she’s a bit flash Harry now.”

For as Dansey Pass farmer and prominent dog triallist Neville Hore says, his hut on 4046ha Mt Alexander Station is ”not the ordinary bloody musterers’ hut”.

Not that there is any sibling rivalry, but he did point out that while his big brother Jim’s flash hut over at Stonehenge, in the Maniototo, might boast a double bed, it did not have television. . .

Paper highlights foreign threat to meat industry – Hugh Stringleman:

Another year and another report on the problems of the meat industry.

Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre section has published an options paper by its policy adviser Sarah Crofoot, after circulating it among members and seeking responses.

Section chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell said it was a “pick and mix” of solutions to the complex problems facing the industry.

She wanted to build federation policy by hearing from the members on one of the biggest issues facing New Zealand agriculture. . .

Fonterra’s ‘bigger than this’ – Gerald Piddock Stacey Kirk and Laura Walters:

Court proceedings brought by French food giant Danone were unlikely to cause long-term reputational damage to Fonterra or affect dairy commodity prices, experts say.

Danone has cancelled its supply contract with Fonterra and is launching legal action against the New Zealand dairy co-operative in a bid to win compensation for $492 million of losses incurred last year and reputational damage.

The moves follow a scare in August when Fonterra issued a milk powder contamination warning that later tests found was a false alert. University of Auckland head of marketing, Rod Brodie, said whether Fonterra suffered any long-term reputational damage as a result of the court action would depend on the way the company handled the proceedings. 

“While it will be expensive for Fonterra perhaps in court with litigation, in terms of its end markets I think Fonterra’s bigger than this.” . . .

Changing 30 years of habits to go organic a challenge – Helena de Reus:

Throughout Otago, people with a love of food and fresh produce are turning out amazing products. For some it is just a hobby; for others it has turned into their livelihood. Helena de Reus reports.

A wish to produce nutritious food for people led to the decision of a lifetime for farmer Graham Clarke.

He has farmed near the small South Otago township of Waipahi since 1983, and owns the 1000ha Marama Organic Farm with his partner, Giselle McLachlan, and his brother, Ian.

The sheep farm has been organic for the past eight years, after Mr Clarke heard a talk by a biological farming advocate, and decided the benefits outweighed the challenges. . .

Young adviser challenges farmers:

Sarah Crofoot researched and wrote the meat industry options paper for Federated Farmers quickly after starting employment as a meat, fibre and environment policy adviser last September.

By mid-November her paper was circulated to members of the Feds Meat and Fibre council and it was discussed in a closed session later that month.

The paper has been available to Federated Farmers members since mid-December and an electronic survey of responses conducted.

Crofoot wanted the paper to inform debate about the most important questions facing the New Zealand meat industry and have members help shape the federation policy on industry reform. . .

Scotland’s first bee reserve:

The future of Scotland’s native black bee is looking much brighter

 January 2014: The UK’s first honey bee reserve has been created in Scotland. From 1 January 2014 it has become an offence to keep any other species of honey bee on the Hebridean islands of Colonsay and Oronsay apart from the black bee (Apis mellifera  mellifera).

The black bee is thought to be the only native honey bee in Scotland and the new legislation is designed to protect the species from cross-breeding and disease. . .


Auckland exodus sensible move for retirees

January 13, 2014

Retirees in Auckland are doing their sums and finding they add up to a better answer outside the city.

A tidal wave of cashed-up retired Aucklanders will help drive up property prices in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, a leading city real estate agent has predicted. . .

John O’Donnell, who owns LJ Hooker’s branch in the Mount and Papamoa, . . . said half of the people coming through their doors were baby boomers aged over 60. They were people taking their life’s savings out of Auckland and building or buying in the Mount and Papamoa.

“It is the start of a tidal wave of people coming out of Auckland.” . . .

Selling up and settling elsewhere is a sensible move for retirees if they don’t have strong family or other ties to Auckland.

It could put pressure on other hot-spots but there are plenty of other places for retirees to settle.

An Oamaru real estate agent told me she’s seeing some Aucklanders down this far.

They are able to sell a modest home up there, pay off any mortgage, buy a much better property down here and have a good sum of money left over for a comfortable retirement.

The exodus will take some of the heat out of the Auckland housing market which will be good not just for people trying to buy houses there but for the rest of the economy.


Missing the point

January 13, 2014

The Council of Trade Unions has wants pre-employment drug testing for beneficiaries scrapped.

. . .  The pre-employment drug test policy, introduced in July last year, makes testing compulsory for some jobs.

The CTU said it should be scrapped after the ministry revealed it has no data on the amount of money saved by cutting the benefits of those who have failed the tests. . .

The CTU has been against this policy, introduced by National, from the start and this is just another excuse to oppose it.

But they’re missing the point of the policy.

Unemployed beneficiaries are supposed to be work-ready and someone who tests positive for drugs won’t be.

If the unions put their concern for workers ahead of their political allegiance to Labour they would get the point and also understand the danger workers under the influence of drugs could pose not just to themselves but to other workers.


Are taxpayers funding political and commercial campaigns?

January 13, 2014

The Charities Commission and Department of Internal Affairs have been cleaning up the register of charities and have removed organisations which don’t qualify for charitable status.

One of those which was removed was Greenpeace because it was deemed to be mostly a political group.

It is appealing that decision.

Ken Perrott has found another group which might not qualify for continued registration:

It’s the New Zealand Health Trust.

. . .  It soon becomes obvious the trust is a political lobbying organisation working to promote the interests of the industry selling “natural health products” and “health care products, devices, practices and services within New Zealand.”

So, New Zealand taxpayers are subsiding an industry lobby group, with commercial interests and aims. Inclusion of words like “health,” “natural” and “alternative” does not make it any different to any industry lobby group with commercial interests.

Have another look at the website and you will see this group has political as well as commercial aims. . .

Yes – as taxpayers we are subsidising political activity on chemtrials, way-out medical procedures and a lot else. We are subsiding opposition to vaccines, genetic modification and aspartine.

We are also subsidising their expensive legal action to fight fluoridation. . . .

The questions aren’t being raised over the merits or otherwise of the Trust’s campaigns.

They’re being raised because organisations which qualify for charitable status aren’t supposed to spend most of their time and money on commercial or political campaigns and court cases.


McCready plans to file charges against Brown

January 13, 2014

If Len Brown thought the furore over his affair and associated actions was going to blow over, he’s going to be very disappointed.

Wellington accountant Graham McCready has shown 3 News the criminal charges he plans to file against Len Brown next week, and one legal expert believes Mr Brown may have cause for concern.

Mr McCready today emailed out the two charging documents he intends to file in the Auckland District Court on Wednesday, alleging corruption by the mayor.

“These private prosecutions are an important check on the abuse of power by members of the executive branch of government who refuse to prosecute people,” says Mr McCready. . .

Legal academic Bill Hodge says Mr McCready has got something that deserves to be answered.

“He’s got a reasonable [case],” says Mr Hodge. “[It] may have legs.” . . .

Whether it’s a reasonable case with legs is up to the court.

But even it isn’t it will keep the issue alive and continue the focus on Brown for all the wrong reasons.


January 13 in history

January 13, 2014

532 – Nika riots in Constantinople.

888 – Odo, Count of Paris became King of the Franks.

1328 – Edward III of England married Philippa of Hainault, daughter of the Count of Hainault.

1435 – Sicut Dudum was promulgated by Pope Eugene IV about the enslaving of black natives in Canary Islands by Spanish Natives.

1547 – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was sentenced to death.

1605 The play Eastward Hoe by Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and John Marston was performed, landing two of the authors in prison.

1607  The Bank of Genoa failed after announcement of national bankruptcy in Spain.

1610  Galileo Galilei discovered Ganymede, 4th moon of Jupiter.

1785 John Walter published the first issue of the Daily Universal Register (later renamed The Times).

1822 The design of the Greek flag was adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.

1830 The Great fire of New Orleans, Louisiana began.

1842  Dr. William Brydon, a surgeon in the British Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, was the sole survivor of an army of 16,500 when he reached the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad.

1847  The Treaty of Cahuenga ended the Mexican-American War in California.

1885 Alfred Fuller, Canadian businessman, The “Fuller Brush Man”, was born (d. 1973).

1890 Thomas William Murphy or ‘Torpedo Billy’, became the first New Zealander to win a world title in professional boxing.

'Torpedo' Billy Murphy wins the world featherweight boxing title

1893 The Independent Labour Party of the UK had its first meeting.

1893 – U.S. Marines landed in Honolulu from the U.S.S. Boston to prevent the queen from abrogating the Bayonet Constitution.

1898  Emile Zola’s J’accuse exposed the Dreyfus affair.

1911  Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, NZ- born Premier of Queensland, was born.

1915 An earthquake in Avezzano, Italy killed 29,800.

1926 Michael Bond, British writer, was born.

1939 The Black Friday bush fires burnt 20,000 square kilometres of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.

1942 Carol Cleveland, English actress and only significant female performer in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, was born.

1942  Henry Ford patented a plastic  automobile, which was 30% lighter than a regular car.

1942  First use of aircraft ejection seat by a German test pilot in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter.

1953 Marshal Josip Broz Tito was chosen as President of Yugoslavia.

1958  Moroccan Liberation Army ambushed Spanish patrol in the Battle of Edchera.

1964  HinduMuslim rioting broke out in Calcutta – now Kolkata – resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people.

1964 Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, was appointed archbishop of Krakow, Poland.

1966  Robert C. Weaver became the first African American Cabinet member by being appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

1968  Johnny Cash performed live at Folsom Prison.

1970  Shonda Rhimes, American screenwriter/creator Grey’s Anatomy, was born.

1985 A passenger train plunged into a ravine at Ethiopia, killing 428 in the worst rail disaster in Africa.

1990 L. Douglas Wilder became the first elected African American governor when he took office in Richmond, Virginia.

1992 – Japan apologised for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery (Comfort women) during World War II.

1993 Space Shuttle programme: Endeavour headed for space for the third time as STS-54 launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

2001  An earthquake in El Salvador, killed more than 800.

2012  – The passenger cruise ship  Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Italy, resulting in 32 deaths (and a few people still missing) amongst the 4232 passengers and crew.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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