Baldric – a belt for a sword or other piece of equipment, worn over one shoulder and reaching down to the opposite hip; belt, usually of ornamented leather, worn across the chest to support a sword or bugle.
Question of the day:
It was prompted by Labour’s threat to meddle with the Reserve Bank.
Inflation effectively cuts wages by reducing buying power and it erodes the value of savings.
Some Labour MPs were in government in the 1980s when inflation was nearly ten times higher than it is now and interest rates were in the mid to high 20s.
Have they forgotten, have they no influence on their caucus or do they just not care?
Will Lincoln survive? – Tony Chaston:
Lincoln University is awash in rumour as it undergoes a major restructure of it’s workforce in a bid to survive.
There are reports it is financially stretched.
Earthquake payments have yet to be assigned even though Canterbury University has received theirs and it was recently revealed Lincoln has lost its bid for major funding for its Centre of Research Excellence group.
Voluntary redundancies are being proposed and many long-term staff fear the next step will be forced redundancies.
Staff morale is said to be low and the discord between the academics and management is growing as the University searches for a new direction. . .
With 2014 the International Year of the Family Farm, the pressing issue of farm succession will be a key focus of this year’s Rabobank Farm Managers Program.
The program – which is designed to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of tomorrow’s farm leaders – will cover succession planning for farm businesses, along with a range of topics including leadership, business planning and financial and economic management.
Applications are now open for the 2014 Farm Managers Program, which will be held in Victoria in June. . .
A Pakeha farmer who manages two Maori-owned farms with his Maori whanau near Whakatane is encouraging other farmers to form partnerships with Maori Land Trusts.
Peter Livingston is the farm advisor for both the Putauaki Trust’s Himiona Farm and Ngati Awa Farm Limited’s Ngakauroa Farm.
The two farms are finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Awards celebrating Maori farming excellence. . .
Drones Could Revolutionize Agriculture, Farmers Say – Gosia Wozniacka:
Idaho farmer Robert Blair isn’t waiting around for federal aviation officials to work out rules for drones. He and a friend built their own, outfitting it with cameras and using it to monitor his 1,500 acres.
Under 10 pounds and 5 feet long nose to tail, the aircraft is the size of a turkey and Blair uses it to get a birds-eye view of his cows and fields of wheat, peas, barley and alfalfa.
“It’s a great tool to collect information to make better decisions, and we’re just scratching the surface of what it can do for farmers,” said Blair, who lives in Kendrick, Idaho, roughly 275 miles north of Boise.
While Americans are abuzz about Amazon’s plans to use self-guided drones to deliver packages, most future unmanned aircraft may operate far from the nation’s large population centers.
Experts point to agriculture as the most promising commercial market for drones because the technology is a perfect fit for large-scale farms and vast rural areas where privacy and safety issues are less of a concern. . . .
Qualified Hawke’s Bay investors are being given the opportunity to express their interest in investing in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd (HBRIC Ltd) has released a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) calling for expressions of interest from qualified locals interested in a potential investment in the water storage scheme.
Interested parties are not being asked for money now. They have until the end of April to indicate their interest in the proposal, and will then be given detailed information on the investment opportunity via an Information Memorandum which will include modeled cashflows and further specific information that is currently commercially sensitive. The Information Memorandum is due for release in May 2014. . . .
Trial underway at Landcorp with Blue Wing Honda and Blackhawk Tracking Systems
Blue Wing Honda have engaged Blackhawk Tracking Systems to develop a world-first solution to help improve ATV safety with a focus on driver behaviour and communication.
Called Farm Angel, the Blackhawk technology is being trialled by Landcorp Farming Ltd, which is committed to improving safety on farms. Landcorp will trial the equipment on around 60 ATV and Side by Side vehicles.
“This is a unique solution which will enable rider/driver behaviour to be monitored, modified and improved” says Blue Wing Honda General Manager Alan Petrie. “The aim is to save lives before they need to be saved, but should an accident unfortunately occur, Farm Angel will also assist in the recovery of seriously injured or trapped riders.
“We have been working with Blackhawk for some time to create the right system that not only helps the ATV rider get out of trouble quickly by sending an immediate automated alert to a first response Call Centre, but also improves on-farm communication while giving peace of mind to farmers, their employees and their families.” . . .
The Cresswell Jackson New Zealand Wine Trust has awarded its first research grant.
Under the broad objective of enhancing the success of the New Zealand wine industry, the Trust awarded the grant to scientist Dr Wendy Parr of Lincoln University. The study is in collaboration with Adelaide-based Phil Reedman MW, the University of Burgundy in France as well as London University and Oxford University in the UK.
The overall goal of the project is to provide sound, scientifically-based information concerning specific aspects of wine tasting and wine judging.
The study aims to investigate the influence of contextual variables on qualitative and quantitative aspects of sensory evaluations by testing whether wines are perceived as tasting ‘different’ under particular conditions. . .
Rockburn Wines has just been awarded an impressive four Double Gold CWSA Best Value medals at the China Wine and Spirits Awards Best Value 2014.
Double Gold Medals were handed out to Rockburn’s 2012 Pinot Noir, 2013 Pinot Gris, 2010 Chardonnay and 2013 Devil’s Staircase Pinot Gris in the blind tasting alongside the most famous brands in the world including 4,350 wines and spirits from 35 countries. The Rockburn 2009 Riesling also received a Gold Medal.
Having won a Double Gold for their 2009 Chardonnay in last year’s competition, Rockburn are once again honoured to add these latest accolades from a competition which is “the ultimate authority for wines and spirits in Hong Kong and China.” . . .
Labour is threatening to tinker with the Reserve Bank Act to keep interest rates down.
They are conveniently forgetting that interest rates have been at an historic low for three years and interest rates were far higher when they were last in government.
The OCR increased by 5.00 in November 1999, went up and got to 6.50 in May 2000, stayed there until March 2001, went down to 6.25 and continued to drop until it got to 4.75 in November that year.
It was all up from there reaching 5.75 in August 2002 before going down again and getting to 5 in July 2003.
The reserve Bank increased it to 5.25 in January 2004 and it climbed from there, reaching 8.25 in July 2007 and staying there until it went down to 8 and was at 6.5 by October 2008.
National won the election in November and the OCR went down from then, getting to 2.5 in April 2009, increasing to 2.75 in June 2009 and 3 in July. It stayed there until March 2011 when it went down to 2.50 where it’s stayed until today.
Several factors have influenced the low rate, including the global financial crisis.
The government had no influence over that but it has had influence over its own spending which is another big influence on the OCR because of its impact on inflation.
National has been very prudent with its spending and intends to continue that as the economy grows.
Labour and its potential coalition partners appear to have no familiarity of the concept of fiscal prudence and should they get into government, their high-tax, high-spending policies would fuel inflation and drive up interest rates.
Labour couldn’t keep interest rates down last time it was in government.
What would it do differently if it was in power again?
It’s not going to rein in its own spending and tinkering with the Reserve Bank Act would do more harm than good.
It would lead to higher inflation which would do far more harm than the small increase in interest rates we got this morning.
Hat tip for chart: Keeping Stock.
1. Who said: Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President’s spouse. I wish him well.?
2. Who was New Zealand’s last Premier and who was our first Prime Minister?
3. Who was the first NZ labour Prime Minister and who was our first national Prime Minister?
4. What does a psephologist study (and I’m seeking a better explanation than psephology).
5. What influences your vote?
The Ministry of Primary Industries has filed charges against Fonterra over last year’s whey protein concentrate incident.
Charging documents have been filed for the following four charges:
- Processing dairy product not in accordance with its Risk Management Programme
- Exporting dairy product that failed to meet relevant animal product standards
- Failing to notify its verifier of significant concerns that dairy product had not been processed in accordance with its Risk Management Programme
- Failing to notify the Director General as soon as possible that exported dairy product was not fit for intended purpose.
MPI cannot make further comment as the matter is before the courts.
In a newsletter to shareholders, Fonterra chair John Wilson says the company accepts the charges:
- We have announced that we have accepted all four charges, which are consistent with the findings of our Operational Review, and the Independent Board Inquiry. A copy of our media release will be on fonterra.com.
- The business is implementing the recommendations of the Operational Review and Independent Board Inquiry.
I’m pleased the company accepts the charges and that it is already implementing the recommendations resulting from the review and inquiry.
Fonterra let consumers, shareholders, the country and itself down over its handling of this incident.
Accepting the charges shows it accepts that.
Even more important is that it has already implemented very necessary changes to its processes and procedures.
The crime rate is the lowest since 1979 and in the last five years it has dropped 16%.
The actual number of crimes has also reduced. In 2008 when the population was 4,251,200, the number of recorded crimes was 426,690. In 2013 when the population was 4,452,600, it was 365,185. With 201,ooo more people, there were 61, 505 fewer crimes.
These figures will bring no joy to the thousands who were affected by crime.
But fewer crimes means fewer victims.
It means less time and money spent solving crimes and trying and punishing the perpetrators.
It means we are safer and therefore that we are freer.
Yesterday morning Chris Trotter called the election for National unless something hugely dramatic happens between now and polling day.
In the afternoon Justice Minister Judith Collins had to apologise for not being as open as she should have been about her trip to China.
This morning, the Reserve Bank is expected to announce an increase in the Official Cash Rate which will lead to an increase in interest rates.
That won’t come as any surprise when the OCR has been at a record low of 2.5% since March 2011.
It will be welcomed by those who get income from interest-bearing investments. It won’t be appreciated by the many more who have mortgages, even though interest rates will still be well below the 11% we were paying when Labour lost the 2008 election.
Neither of these are hugely dramatic and are unlikely by themselves to have much impact on the polls when Labour continues to be divided internally and confused about which coalition partners it would choose.
The odds still favour National, but when even a day can make a big difference, six months is time for an even bigger one.
Erosion over time can do as much damage as an explosion.
Political tragics might be interested in and exercised by the sideshows but few other people are.
The latest Colmar Brunton poll shows the issues which matter most to voters.
The top five are: education, health, jobs, child poverty and wages.
Duncan Garner has 10 defining election issues.
1. The economy – is it strong?
2. Do you want to put it all at risk?
3. Jobs, jobs, jobs
4. Wage growth. Are you getting a pay rise?
5. Housing affordability
6. Mortgage repayments.
7. Your child’s education – are you happy?
8. Who do you trust the most? Key or Cunliffe?
9. Is vital infrastructure being built?
10. Christchurch – how will the city vote?
Voters looking at these issues have a stark choice between National and Labour.
The former has a record of achievement in government and the promise of refreshment after the election.
The latter has a record of division and too many of the tired, old, stale faces who were part of the government which squandered the good times of the noughties.
1639 Harvard College was named for clergyman John Harvard.
1764 Earl Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1845).
1809 Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden was deposed in a coup d’état.
1862 The U.S. federal government forbade all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
1881 Alexander II of Russia was killed when a bomb was thrown at him.
1884 Sir Hugh Walpole, English novelist, was born (d. 1941).
1884 The Siege of Khartoum, Sudan began.
1897 San Diego State University was founded.
1900 British forces occupied Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.
1900 The length of the workday for women and children is limited by law to 11 hours in France.
1920 The Kapp Putsch briefly ousted the Weimar Republic government from Berlin.
1925 Scopes Trial: A law in Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution.
1933 Banks in the U.S. began to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandated a “bank holiday“.
1939 Neil Sedaka, American singer and songwriter, was born.
1943 German forces destroyed the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
1954 Battle of Điện Biên Phủ: Viet Minh forces attacked the French.
1956 – New Zealand won its first cricket test – playing against the West Indies at Eden Park.
1957 Cuban student revolutionaries stormed the presidential palace in Havana in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista.
1960 Adam Clayton, Irish bassist (U2), was born.
1969 Apollo 9 returned safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
1986 Microsoft had its initial public offering.
1992 An earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale killed more than 500 in Erzincan, eastern Turkey.
1995 – The world’s first Laughter Club was launched by Dr Madan Kataria, in Mumbai.
1996 Dunblane massacre: 16 children and 1 teacher were shot dead by Thomas Watt Hamilton who then committed suicide.
1997 India’s Missionaries of Charity chose Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.
1997 The Phoenix lights were seen over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television.
2003 The journal Nature reported that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human had been found in Italy.
2008 Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time.
2013 – Pope Francis was elected in the papal conclave to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia