Word of the day

Psittacism – thoughtless repetition of a word or phrase;  the mechanical repetition of previously received ideas or images, without true reasoning or feeling; repetition of words or phrases parrot-fashion; an instance of this;  automatic speech without regard to meaning.

Rural round-up


Ealing Pastures sells for $64.49m – Annette Scott:

Mid Canterbury dairy property Ealing Pastures sold at auction today for almost $65 million.

The hammer went down on the property to a winning bid of $64.49m, made by Christchurch-based lawyer Mark Dineen, of Goodman Tavendale Reid Law.

It was not revealed at the auction who Dineen was operating for, but it is understood the family owns farming property in Mid Canterbury.

The under-bidder was Geoffrey Holman, of Pullington, a Western Australia-based investment vehicle owned by Holman and his wife Frances. . .

Speech to Beef + Lamb New Zealand AGM: Nathan Guy:

Thank you for the opportunity to address you all today.

The last few years have been some of the more challenging in New Zealand’s history. In the space of five short years we have endured the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the worst drought in 70 years, and of course the devastating series of earthquakes in the Canterbury region.

But we have largely weathered this storm, and while there will no doubt be further hurdles along the way, the future is looking bright for New Zealand.

This year, GDP growth is tracking at 3.5%; exports for the primary sector are $5 billion ahead of forecasts; and the Government is on track to reach a surplus next year.

I believe the leadership of Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English has helped to steady the ship, and bring the economy on a path to recovery.

But it is the people sitting here in this room that have pushed New Zealand along the path of recovery – farmers from all over New Zealand. Whether it be sheep, beef, dairy, horticulture, or any other primary industries, it is thanks to farmers doing their job, and doing it well, that New Zealand’s future is looking bright. I want to personally acknowledge this contribution you all make to the New Zealand economy.

You don’t get thanked enough for doing the hard yards and producing our fine meat products that are showcased and consumed around the world.

Today I’d like to do three things. Firstly I’d like to briefly outline some of the things this government is doing to help farmers to continue to thrive. Secondly, I’d like to talk about my vision for the red meat sector. And finally I’d like to address the on-going discussions around the structure of the industry. . .

Food, cheap glorious food – Jacqueline Rowarth:

Forget the hype, food is as cheap as it ever was

Food is likely to increase in price this year. Not as much as salaries, fuel or electricity; probably not as much as housing. But a bit. This is the prediction by the US Department of Economics. The increase is due to the ongoing effects of the 2012 drought and the increased demand from Asia.

Each time prices rise there are complaints from society and farmers take the flack.

Statistics New Zealand released ‘New Zealand in Profile 2014’ last month and the news was full of ‘beer is more expensive but milk is cheaper’. Social media then filled with comments along the lines of ‘nonsense, it is more expensive than ever’… thereby resorting to perception rather than the facts. . . .

AsureQuality Announces New CEO:

AsureQuality is pleased to announce the appointment of John McKay as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), commencing 3 June 2014.

John is an experienced international business leader who comes with proven experience in the food and dairy sectors and has a strong customer partnership approach.

He is currently CEO of Hansells Food Group where he runs a diverse and complex business including four manufacturing sites, and sales and distribution companies in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. . . .

Changes to Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare Proposed:

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) is seeking public consultation on proposed changes to the Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010.

NAWAC is proposing that blunt force trauma may not be used for the routine killing of unwanted dairy calves on the farm.

“We understand that people are concerned about farmers using blunt force trauma to kill young calves on the farm,” says Dr Karen Phillips, Deputy- Chair of NAWAC.

“The risks of incorrect use, coupled with the fact that there are alternatives that can be better for animal welfare, meant that it was time to consider changing the rules on this. . .

Aim of rural Fiji training to create genuine items for tourists:

A project to train rural women in Fiji to make jewellery from ‘Mother of Pearl’ shells aims to not only help women earn a living, but also create more genuine Fiji made items for tourists.

The study of the pearl industry by the University of the South Pacific, with James Cook and Adelaide Universities, found that while pearls were making a lot of money, their shells were not being utilised.

It also found that most of what’s being sold to tourists in Fiji is imported from Asia, but is falsely being sold as made in Fiji. . . .


Competitive man herding


Saturday’s smiles


A little word play from Grammarly:

1. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
2. A will is a dead giveaway.
3. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
4. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
5. You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
6. He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.
7. A calendar’s days are numbered.
8. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
9. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
10. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
11. When you’ve seen one shopping centre you’ve seen a mall.
12. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
13. When she saw her first strands of grey hair, she thought she’d dye.
14. Acupuncture: a jab well done.
15. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.
16. Tonto’s banker…the Loan Arranger.
17. If a skunk went to church, would it sit in its own pew?

Only growth under Labour – tax rates


Labour leader David Cunliffe gave a speech yesterday.

It had no new ideas,  but repeated the old one of higher tax rates.

That’s a policy based on political ideology not economics.

It’s motivation is to punish the rich not help the poor.

Higher tax rates don’t necessarily equate to higher tax takes and usually do the opposite.
Photo: Businesses create jobs. Taxes don't. http://nzyn.at/1cXp2d7

The only way businesses can afford to pay more tax is by diverting money from more productive areas.

More money taken from businesses in tax is less money they have for investments which will help them grow, enable them to employ more people and/or pay higher wages.

Cyclone Lusi


I’m in sunny Southland, about to head home to North Otago where the forecast is for fine weather for today too.

Further north it’s wetter, windier story.

Northland and Waikato have been desperate for rain, but Cyclone Lusi could bring too much of a good thing.

Cyclone Lusi is expected to continue moving south during Saturday, bringing widespread heavy rain and easterly gales to the North Island and the upper South Island. In the northeast of the North Island, the heaviest falls are expected about the Coromandel Peninsula and western Bay of Plenty, where 120 to 150mm could accumlate about the ranges during Saturday and into Sunday morning, with over 100mm expected about the eastern hills of Northland, the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, as well as the ranges of Hawkes Bay. Lusi is expected to cross the South Island during Sunday, then move away to the east.

For the upper South Island, Marlborough and Nelson look set to receive the most intense rainfall, with 170 to 200mm possible in the ranges of northwest Nelson and 120 to 150mm about the Kaikoura ranges from Saturday evening until late Sunday or early Monday.

Easterly gales will accompany the heavy rain, with severe gale gusts of 120km/h in exposed parts of Northland and Auckland, and 130km/h west of the Kaimai Range.

This will be a significant adverse weather event, affecting many parts of the country. The heavy rain is likely to cause slips and surface flooding, and the severe easterly gales could make driving hazardous, lift roofs, and bring down trees and powerlines. . .

Stuff reports the cyclone is lashing the North Island with worse to come.

MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said parts of Northland had received 40 to 60 millimetres of rain overnight, with winds gusting up to 120kmh in Cape Reinga but there was still more to come.

“If this is like a football match, we’re not quite to halftime in Northern areas.”

Latest updates: Metservice rain radar

The weather has also hit Auckland, with eastern areas getting wind gusts of up to 100kmh this morning, Corbett said.

He described it as a weather octopus, with layers of rain bands lashing northern areas.

“Think of it almost like an octopus flailing its legs.

“The first band of rain is down to Waikato, extending to Gisborne ranges.

“The second band of heavy persistent rain is now coming through Auckland and then the whole thing is spreading south.” . . .

An online weather map shows the cyclone’s movements in real time.

And (with a hat tip to StatsChat )the weather has inpsired some art:


Saturday soapbox


Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse, amuse or bemuse.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments!

March 15 in history


44 BC Julius Ceasar was stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.

221 Liu Bei, a Chinese warlord and member of the Han royal house, declared himself emperor of Shu-Han and claimed his legitimate successionto the Han Dynasty.

351 Constantius II elevated his cousin Gallus to Caesar, and put him in charge of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire.

933  After a ten-year truce, German King Henry I defeated a Hungarian army at the Battle of Riade.

1311 Battle of Halmyros: The Catalan Company defeated Walter V of Brienne to take control of the Duchy of Athens.

1493  Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.

1545 First meeting of the Council of Trent.

1672 Charles II issued the Royal Declaration of Indulgence.

1767  Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, was born (d. 1845).

1776 South Carolina became the first American colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government.

1779 Lord Melbourne, (William Lamb) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,, was born  (d. 1848).

1781 Battle of Guilford Courthouse: 1,900 British troops under General Charles Cornwallis defeated an American force of 4,400.

1783 George Washington asked his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy. The plea was successful and the threatened coup d’état never eventuated.

1809 Joseph Jenkins Roberts, first President of Liberia, was born (d. 1876).

1844 The New Zealand Company ended its colonising efforts.

New Zealand Company ends colonising efforts

1848 Revolution broke out in Hungary.

1877 The first cricket test started between England and Australia.

1906 Rolls-Royce Limited was incorporated.

1916 President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 United States troops over the U.S.-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.

1917 Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated the Russian throne and his brother the Grand Duke Michael becomes Tsar.

1922  Fuad I became King of Egypt.

1926 The dictator Theodoros Pangalos was elected President of Greece without opposition.

1931 SS Viking exploded off Newfoundland, killing 27 of the 147 on board.

1933 Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss kept members of the National Council from convening, starting the austrofascist dictatorship.

1939 German troops occupied the remaining part of Bohemia and Moravia; Czechoslovakia ceased to exist.

1941 Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys), was born.

1943  Third Battle of Kharkov – Germans retook the city of Kharkov from the Soviet armies in bitter street fighting.

1944 Sly Stone, American musician, was born.

1944 New Zealand forces captured Castle Hill during the Battle of Monte Cassino.

NZ forces capture Castle Hill at Cassino

1952 In Cilaos, Réunion, 1870 mm (73 inches) of rain fell in one day, setting a new world record.

1961 South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.

1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, told U.S. Congress “We shall overcome” while advocating the Voting Rights Act.

1985 The first Internet domain name was registered (symbolics.com).

1988 The Halabja poison gas attack of the Iran–Iraq War began.

1990 Iraq hung British journalist Farzad Bazoft for spying.

1990 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected as the first executive president of the Soviet Union.

1991 – The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany went into effect, granting full sovereignty to the Federal Republic of Germany.

2003 – President Ange-Felix Patasse ws overthrown in a coup by François Bozizé.

2011 – Beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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