Issues that matter

January 28, 2014

He’s referring to Labour MP David Clark’s suggestion that the government bans Facebook.

Perhaps Andrei is right and Labour is trying to throw the election.

 


Speech from the heart, solutions from experience

January 28, 2014

Every now and then an MP makes a speech from the heart.

Today John Banks did that.

He also offered solutions to the problem of poverty, based on his own experience as a victim of it.


Word of the day

January 28, 2014

Agathism -the doctrine or belief that all things tend or incline towards ultimate good , although the intermediate means may be evil.


Rural round-up

January 28, 2014

Synlait hikes annual profit forecast on value-add earnings growth, unsure on Chinese sales target – Paul McBeth:

Jan. 28 (BusinessDesk) – Synlait Milk, the milk processor which counts China’s Bright Dairy Food as a cornerstone shareholder, will beat its annual profit forecast by as much as 77 percent on earnings growth, though might miss its sales target for infant formula into China due to stricter regulations.

The Rangiora-based company anticipates net profit of between $30 million and $35 million in the year ending July 31, up from the $19.67 million forecast in the company’s prospectus when it listed in July, it said in a statement.

Synlait lifted its forecast milk payout to between $8.30 per kilogram of milk solids and $8.40/kgMS from $8/kgMS previously as global dairy prices climbed, but is reaping earnings growth from its value-add products and a favourable product mix, chairman Graeme Milne said. . .

Sheep farming area now a dairy melting pot – Mike Crean:

The old mail box has the name Inniskillen stencilled on the front. Beside it are nine small, modern mail boxes. To Dick Davison, they illustrate the greatest social change in the history of North Canterbury’s Amuri Basin.

It is the change from an aristocracy of established sheep farming families to a multi-cultural society of dairy farmers, managers, labourers and sharemilkers. The change is greater even than the transformation caused by breaking up the large estates a century ago, Davison says.

He and wife Liz bought his family’s farm, Blakiston, across the road from Inniskillen, in 1976. Recently they sold most of it, retaining an elevated block where they have built their dream house. . .

Honey price tipped to rise:

Beekeepers are struggling through one of their most challenging seasons, with cool temperatures and wind significantly slowing honey production.

National Bee Keepers Association president Ricki Leahy said the weather so far this summer had been exactly what the bees did not thrive in.

“We have hives down the West Coast and it has certainly been a miserable summer down there, really,” Mr Leahy said.

“The main problem we have with unsettled weather is the bees need to build up a momentum to get a good honey flow going.

“You also need that constant heat to get the nectar in the flowers … so everything depends on a nice, long stretch of fine weather.” . . .

Little risk in biocontrol insects:

An international study into the use of introduced insects to control weeds has found little evidence of them going wrong.

Dr Max Suckling of Plant & Food Research said there had been concerns about introducing non-native insects as weed biocontrols because of the risk of them attacking non-targetted plants.

But Dr Suckling said their worldwide survey of more than 500 insect biocontrol cases, dating back more than 150 years, had found few examples of them causing serious damage to other plants. . .

China pays up big for Australian cattle – Warwick Long:

Australian dairy and even beef farmers are making the most of Chinese demand for live cattle.

China’s dairy industry killed two million cows last year as smaller subsistence farmers left in droves on the back of high meat prices.

The price of an Australian six-month-old dairy heifer for live export has risen by over $400 in just a couple of months.

Independent livestock agent Darren Askew says farmers are now earning over $1,350 per animal.

The trade of dairy cattle to China is a volatile market, which has been this high before and then crashed. . .

What inspires a young man to become a dairy farmer – Milk Maid Marian:

We received an unusual phone call the other week. A vet student with no family connections to dairy, Andrew Dallimore rang out of the blue saying he was keen to become a dairy farmer and wondered if he could ask us a few questions.

Well, what a series of questions! What were the challenges we faced becoming dairy farmers, why did we choose it, the ups and downs, where we look for knowledge and what are the pros and cons of raising children on a farm? At least, these are the ones I remember. And he took notes.

It felt like being at confessional, somehow. You have to be totally honest with someone so earnestly and diligently researching his future. Wayne and I were both immensely impressed, then gobsmacked when he offered to do a few hours work on the farm with the payment of just our thoughts and a banana! . . .


Cow burps and farts cause explosion

January 28, 2014

Methane gas released by dairy cows has caused an explosion in a cow shed in Germany, police said.

The roof was damaged and one of the cows was injured in the blast in the central German town of Rasdorf.

Thanks to the belches and flatulence of the 90 dairy cows in the shed, high levels of the gas had built up.

Then “a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames” the force said in a statement quoted by Reuters news agency. . . 

Is there an alternative energy opportunity in this?

Instead of all that methane going to waste and creating the potential for explosions, could it be harnessed to produce electricity?


Is it Cunliffe of Conliffe?

January 28, 2014

This could well be because he can’t credibly explain how he’s going to pay for the baby bribe.

He tried yesterday but the figures don’t add up:

Labour Leader David Cunliffe needs to explain why he has tried to con the New Zealand public and front up about where the money would come from for his planned big spend-up, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Mr Cunliffe has been deliberately pulling the wool over the eyes of the New Zealand public by cancelling two Labour policies last week and saying that gives him $1.5 billion a year to spend,” Mr Joyce says.

“His press release of 22 January specifically states: ‘This decision frees up around $1.5 billion per annum’.

“Then yesterday, in attempting to say where the money would come from, he said: ‘Labour has recently confirmed we will no longer be proceeding with a Tax Free Zone or the GST exemption for fresh fruit and vegetables. This decision will save around $1.5 billion per year. The Best Start package will cost significantly less than this’.

“The only problem is he is completely wrong on both counts.

“There is no GST off fruit and veges in the country’s books to save, and no tax-free threshold to take out, so cancelling them doesn’t save anything.

“There are only two possibilities here: Mr Cunliffe is either deliberately trying to pull the wool over New Zealanders’ eyes; or he doesn’t understand the most basic accounting.

“Late yesterday he started to advance the possibility that other things could pay for it. The short answer is he has no idea.

“The country has rightly become very cynical about Labour’s big spending habits, and has spent five years digging out of them.

“Mr Cunliffe needs to be straight-up about spending taxpayers’ money.” . . .

New Zealand went into recession before the global financial crisis because of Labour’s high tax, churn and spend policies.

The road to surplus has been more difficult and public debt is higher because National swallowed some dead rats to continue some of the middle income welfare.

Labour hasn’t learned from that.

It wants to not only continue middle income welfare, it wants to extend it to upper income families.

Even if that was a good idea – and it isn’t – the only way to pay for it is to increase taxes, increase borrowing and/or cut spending somewhere else.

Cunliffe missed the e off the end of Lorde’s name in a tweet yesterday. He said it was a typo.

It wouldn’t be a typo to change the u in his name to an o it would be more a Freudian slip – Conliffe is the appropriate name for someone who’s trying to con the electorate.


Name and shame truants

January 28, 2014

Parliamentary truants are going to be named and shamed:

Lazy MPs will have their attendance recorded – and made public – from today.

Parliament has adopted a roll call to show how many MPs – who earn at least $147,800 a year – turn up for debates, select committees and other business.

And as well as being named and shamed, those who skip more than three sitting days will have their wages immediately docked by 0.2 per cent. For a backbencher this would be $295.

MPs also face suspension if the Speaker judges their absences “grossly disorderly conduct.” . . .

Clerk of the House of Representatives Mary Clark yesterday sent out a memo to all MPs reminding them of the new rule, which was agreed to early last month.

Attendance will be recorded by the Serjeant-at-Arms or committee clerks. An MP must have attended a debate in the House, a select committee meeting, participated in an inter-parliamentary relations programme visit or some other kind of approved “official business”.

Permission to be absent must be granted by a party leader, whip or the Speaker.

The names of absentees without permission will be published in a weekly journal.

In the memo Harris warned: “Simply being within the parliamentary precincts does not constitute attendance.” . . .

Not being in parliament doesn’t necessarily mean MPs are being lazy.

They do have other public responsibilities and roles.

The Prime Minister and Ministers have gruelling schedules all around the country, and the world. Senior opposition MPs need to get outside Wellington too, and all MPs will have commitments in their electorates which don’t always fit round the parliamentary timetable.

But Tuesdays to Thursdays are sitting days and most MPs should be there for most of that time.


%d bloggers like this: