Word of the day

February 25, 2014

Nyaff –  a  small object; a trifle; a stupid, irritating, or insignificant person; a small or contemptible person.


Rural round-up

February 25, 2014

Sewer discharge called a disgrace:

A leading Hawke’s Bay wine industry figure says sewerage pouring into Hawke’s Bay’s rivers is a disgrace and potentially damaging to the region’s food and beverage producers.

The group Friends of the Tukituki is threatening legal action if the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is unable to meet new resource consents for discharging town sewerage into the Waipawa and Tukituki Rivers.

It says the brown smelly discharge currently going into the rivers is unacceptable.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council says the discharge is within its resource consent, and is confident a new sewage plant will be operating by October which will discharge crystal clear water. . . .

Minister flags Maori land potential:

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has highlighted the potential for Maori agribusiness as part of the Government’s goal of doubling primary sector exports by 2025.

The ministry now forecasts the sector will earn $36.5 billion this season – up nearly $5 billion on the last forecast six months ago.

Of the 1.5 million hectares of Maori land, only 300,000 hectares is in full production. . .

East Coast first to host Environment Awards – RivetettingKateTaylor:

The first regional dinner has been held for the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The East Coast awards, covering the geographic area of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Gisborne District Council, were announced in Gisborne on Thursday.  It’s the fourth year of the awards but the first time hosted by Gisborne.

Well done to all those who entered…. and (drum roll please) the winners were Rob and Sandra Faulkner and Bruce and Jo Graham from the 600ha property, Wairakaia, which can be found on both sides of SH2 at Muriwai, south of Gisborne. . .

From the Lip – Pulse of rural NZ at field days – Jamie Mackay:

What follows are some random observations from the past fortnight and some pretty cool stuff that’s happened in rural New Zealand:

1. Tis field-day season. A couple of weeks ago it was the Southern Field Days at Waimumu. This week it’s the Northland Field Days at Dargaville and in a couple of weeks it’s off to Feilding for the Central Districts Field Days.  Between that and Horse of the Year in Hastings, the PPP Farming Conference in Queenstown, the inaugural Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards in New Plymouth and the Rolling Stones in Auckland, I think I’ll just set up camp at the airport over the next six weeks.

I shouldn’t complain though, because it’s at these field days you get the real pulse of rural New Zealand and it’s fair pumping out there at the moment.  Even though I’ve been attending the Southern Field Days for 20 years – it was the first gig I did in radio – Waimumu is still a revelation. It’s a “Mini Me” of Mystery Creek, only better.  It’s Dargaville’s turn to impress this week. . . .

 

 

Milksmart events make farmers do the maths :

MilkSmart events, where farmers are shown practical ways to reduce milking times, are doing the rounds again this year.

DairyNZ have made some changes to the topics after farmer feedback.

The topics include stockmanship, milking efficiency, cow flow, milking skills, mastitis management, smart dairy design, people management, smart water use and more.

Events were run in Morrinsville and Tokoroa last week.

Sessions were designed for one of three experience levels – those who are new to dairying, operational managers, and senior decision makers or farm owners. . . .

Fonterra Announces $32 Million Foodservice Expansion in Eltham:

Fonterra today announced a $32 million expansion of its slice-on-slice cheese capacity at its Collingwood Street site in Eltham, Taranaki.

Slice-on-slice cheese is used extensively in quick service restaurants for products such as hamburgers and sandwiches.

Work will start in early 2014 and is expected to be completed in mid-2015. When complete, the expanded plant will deliver both increased capacity and improved processes to meet growth in global demand from Fonterra’s foodservice customers.

Fonterra Director of Foodservice, René Dedoncker, said the investment demonstrated the Co-operative’s drive to grow its business in the high-value foodservice industry. . . .

BEC Feed Solutions Set to Taste New Zealand Market:

BEC Feed Solutions Australia has cemented its commitment to the New Zealand agricultural market with the opening of a New Zealand trading arm, BEC Feed Solutions NZ.

The move was prompted by New Zealand’s rapidly developing animal production market and thriving dairy industry, which has seen a 70% growth in dairy production over the past 20 years[1]. This, coupled with the dairy industry’s growing preference for supplementary feeding over a solely pasture-based system, provides a sound platform for BEC – Australia’s largest independent animal pre-mix manufacturer – to officially enter the New Zealand market. . .


Cars don’t run on good intentions

February 25, 2014

Spotted on a shop window in Invercargill:

Offshore oil exploration?

My car runs on petrol not good intentions.

oil

 


Drinking to be illegal in pregnancy?

February 25, 2014

A challenge in the UK against a woman who drank while pregnant could make it illegal for any woman to drink during pregnancy:

. . . The woman kept drinking despite advice from her doctors that excessive amounts of alcohol in pregnancy could seriously damage her unborn child. Her daughter was born with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which can cause physical, psychological and behavioural problems.

The child was fostered and is now under the guardianship of a council in the north-west, who have accused the mother of criminal injury. They are trying to secure compensation on her behalf by taking the case to the Court of Appeal.

A tribunal in 2011 already ruled that the child sustained injury because of her mother’s actions, but Judge Howard Levenson of the Administrative Appeals Chamber overturned this ruling in 2013, concluding that no criminal conviction could be made.

Although there had been “administration of a poison or other destructive or noxious thing, so as thereby to inflict grievous bodily harm,” because this took place during pregnancy the unborn baby “was not a person,” and so no criminal offence could be committed.

The council is mounting their challenge against Judge Levenson’s decision. If they succeed, knowingly harming a child by drinking alcohol while pregnant could be classified as a crime. . .

Foetal alcohol syndrome is a serious an preventable condition but making drinking at all when pregnant would be a very serious step.

Not all pregnancies are planned so many women drink without realising they’re pregnant.

Doctors advise women to drink no alcohol while pregnant because there is no known safe amount.

That isn’t quite the same as saying any amount is dangerous.

Making any drinking illegal might stop those who drink very little anyway but it is unlikely to have any influence on addicts.

There are other implications to such a law change- at the moment the unborn child doesn’t have any rights.

If it was criminal to endanger a child by drinking during pregnancy there would be a precedent for action against anything else which could harm the unborn baby, including abortion and possibly IVF.

A few years ago a midwife was found not guilty of charges of misconduct after the death of a newborn baby because she’d followed the mother’s instructions.

A lawyer told me that was because the mother’s wishes trump the baby’s until s/he’s born.  He said moves to change that if the pregnancy was sufficiently advanced to survive outside the womb had never got anywhere.


What matters

February 25, 2014

While sideshows get attention, what really matters are the basics: the economy, education, health, welfare and security.

An important ingredient in personal security is a low crime rate and the news on that is improving:

Crime and reoffending continues to fall according to the latest progress report on Better Public Service (BPS) to September 2013, Justice Minister Judith Collins announced today.

“Increased collaboration between the Ministry of Justice, Police, Corrections and Courts means the Justice sector is making excellent progress and is well on track to meet, and even exceed its targets by 2017,” Ms Collins says.

“Since June 2011, the total crime rate has fallen 13 per cent, the violent crime rate has fallen 9 per cent, the youth crime rate has fallen 22 per cent and the reoffending rate is down 11.4 per cent.

“Crime is at a 33 year low and we have the opportunity to keep doing what works and finding new and innovative ways to prevent crime from occurring in the first place.”

BPS targets for the justice sector are to reduce the total recorded crime rate by 15 per cent, the recorded violent crime rate by 20 per cent and the youth crime and re-offending rate by 25 per cent by 2017.

Ms Collins says the sector is also continuing efforts to strengthen support for victims of crime to make sure they remain at the heart of our justice system.

“We’ve embarked on a comprehensive programme of reform to protect communities, prevent crime, and put victims first, with levies on offenders, new laws, and new services for victims,” Ms Collins says.

“We’re staying tough on criminals, keeping record numbers of Police on the beat, and ensuring the justice system focuses on the rights of victims and is more accessible for those who need to use it.”

Today’s results show that in the year to September 2013, 51,553 fewer recorded crimes have been experienced by New Zealanders than in the year to June 2011.

Ms Collins acknowledges the Ministry of Justice, Police and Corrections and her Justice sector ministerial colleagues for their continued commitment to making New Zealand safe.

Better Public Service (BPS) graphic 1
Better Public Service (BPS) graphic 1
Better Public Service (BPS) graphic 2

There are both social and economic benefits to crime reduction.

Fewer crimes means fewer victims, fewer people in prison, more people engaged meaningfully in society and less money spent on detection, prosecution and punishment.

It also means a better quality of life, people who feel safer are freer.

Friends visiting from Argentina kept saying how much they enjoyed being in a house without bars on its windows and being able to walk down the street without being in fear of pick-pockets.


Why stop at $15?

February 25, 2014

Labour Minister Simon Bridges announced the minimum wage will increase from $13.75 an hour to $14.25.

 . . The Starting-Out and training minimum wages will increase from $11 an hour to $11.40 an hour, which is 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

“Setting these wage rates represents a careful balance between protecting low paid workers and ensuring jobs are not lost,” says Mr Bridges.

“The increase announced today balances the needs of both businesses and workers and will have minimal impact on the wider labour market and inflationary pressures.

“This increase will keep the minimum wage at around 50 per cent of the average hourly rate, which is the highest rate in the OECD.

“The Government is firmly focussed on growing the economy and boosting incomes. Through our Business Growth Agenda we are creating opportunities to help grow more jobs in New Zealand, for New Zealanders.” . . .

That nearly half those surveyed think that’s not enough goes to show most people don’t understand the issues.

The only sustainable way to increase wages is by economic growth.

Without an increase in productivity and profit, an increase in wage rates will result in a decrease in job numbers.

The Green Party doesn’t understand that.

The Greens would have immediately raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today. . .

Why stop there?

“Around 125,000 kids live in families where the adults earn less than the living wage. It is in the government’s hands to end poverty for working families and improve the lives of those kids. . .

Those families get Welfare for Families through which those with two children pay no net tax until they earn $50,000. Any increase in their pay will reduce their welfare. That’s less money from public coffers but they’ll be no better off and could be worse off if jobs are lost.

That living wage is an arbitrary figure and last week’s increase in it was based on different methodology from the original figure:

The ‘new’ living wage has shifted the goalposts and appears to be more about politics than public policy, says BusinessNZ.

Last year the living wage campaign said $18.40 should be the living wage, calculated on the basis of the living costs of a family of four.

The promoters now say the living wage for this year should be updated to the higher rate of $18.80.

“But the report shifts the goalposts,” BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said.

“The increase from $18.40 to $18.80 is not based on the same methodology as last year.

“Using the same methodology, for the same family of four, would show the new living wage should really be $22.89.

“If last year’s formula said $18.40 was needed for a living wage, and the same calculations now show $22.89 is required, why isn’t the campaign seeking $22.89 an hour?” Mr O’Reilly asked.

“Either the original calculations were flawed, or the campaign is just picking numbers out of thin air.”

Mr O’Reilly said decision makers could not have confidence that the living wage figures were soundly based.

“This switch in the figures used is important for taxpayers and ratepayers who are being asked to pay for the campaign. Wellington ratepayers are now funding the living wage policy for council employees and taxpayers would be funding it for all government employees under Labour Party policy.

“There can be no confidence in a living wage proposal set on an arbitrarily changing basis.”

The whole concept of a living wage which decrees everyone should be paid enough to support a family of four, regardless of what the work they do is worth, is flawed.

For the record, all our staff are paid more than the minimum wage.

That’s a decision we make in negotiation with them taking into account their skills and experience, what they’re required to do, the value of all of that and what the business can afford.


February 25 in history

February 25, 2014

138 The Emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius, effectively making him his successor.

1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I.

1778 José de San Martín, Argentine general and liberator of South America, was born  (d. 1850).

1793 George Washington held the first Cabint meeting as President of the United States.

1797 Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000-1500 soldiers surrendered after the Last Invasion of Britain.

1836 Samuel Colt received an American patent for the Colt revolver.

1841  Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French painter, graphic artist and sculptor, was born  (d. 1919).

1845 George Reid, fourth Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1918).

1861 Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher and educator, was born (d. 1925).

1870 Hiram Rhodes Revels becamethe first African American to sit in the U.S. Congress.

1873  Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, was born  (d. 1921).

1890 Dame Myra Hess, English pianist, was born (d. 1965).

1890  Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet politician, was born (d. 1986).

1901 Zeppo Marx, American actor, was born  (d. 1979).

1901 J.P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation.

1908 Frank G. Slaughter, American novelist, was born (d. 2001).

1912 Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of Guillaume IV, becomes the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

1917 Anthony Burgess, English author, was born (d. 1993).

1919 Oregon placed a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a fuel tax.

1921 Tbilisi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, was occupied by Bolshevist Russia.

1925 Glacier Bay National Monument (now Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve) was established in Alaska.

1928 Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. became the first holder of a television license.

1932 Adolf Hitler obtained German citizenship by naturalisation, which allowed him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.

1933 The USS Ranger (CV-4) was launched, the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.

1935 Sally Jessy Raphaël, American talk show host, was born.

1941 February Strike: In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike was declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis.

1943 48 Japanese prinsoners and one guard were killed in the Featherston Prinsoner of War riot.

49 killed in Featherston POW riot
 
1943 George Harrison, English musician (The Beatles), was born.
 
1945 Elkie Brooks, English singer, was born.

1945  Turkey declared war on Germany.

1946 Jean Todt, French executive director of Scuderia Ferrari, was born.

1947 State of Prussia ceased to exist.

1948 The Communist Party took control of government in Czechoslovakia.

1950 Néstor Kirchner, President of Argentina, was born  (d. 2010).

1951 The first Pan American Games were held in Buenos Aires.

1953 José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, was born.

1954 Gamal Abdul Nasser was made premier of Egypt.

1956 In his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.

1971 The first unit of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, first commercial nuclear power station in Canada, went online.

1973 Julio Iglesias, Jr., Spanish singer, was born.

1976 – Simon O’Connor, MP for Tamaki, was born.

1980 The Suriname government was overthrown by a military coup initiated with the bombing of the police station from an army ship of the coast of the nation’s capital; Paramaribo.

1985 Benji Marshall, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Benji Marshall (26 April 2009).jpg

1986 People Power Revolution: President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines fled after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino became the first Filipino woman president.

1991 Gulf War: An Iraqi Scud missile hit an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania.

1992 Khojaly massacre: about 613 civilians were killed by Armenian armed forces during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

1994 Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron Dr. Baruch Kappel Goldstein opened fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors. Subsequent rioting kills 26 more Palestinians and 9 Israelis.

2009  BDR massacre in Pilkhana, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 74 People were killed, including more than 50 Army officials, by Bangladeshi Border Guards.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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