Word of the day

March 27, 2014

Blusterfest – a gathering notable for loud, aggressive, or indignant talk with little effect.


Rural round-up

March 27, 2014

Guy prepared to help, but unwilling to interfere – Allan Barber:

Nathan Guy gave a very positive speech to Beef + Lamb NZ’s AGM on Saturday which covered three major points: what the government is doing for farmers, his vision for the red meat sector and thoughts on the discussions about industry structure.

Obviously, given MPI’s bullish view of agricultural exports, the Minister was extremely positive about economic performance. However he was at pains to point out the government’s role as an enabler, citing his focus on biosecurity resources, trade negotiations for market access, and investment in research.

He began by referring to his intention to strengthen resources at the border and to establish Government Industry Agreements (GIA) with various sectors which will ultimately involve the private sector in sharing the costs of biosecurity; different sectors are at various stages of negotiation on this issue. . . .

Project explores the potential of EID:

Warren Ayers farms 890ha of rolling country near Wyndham. The property runs 600 Perendale stud ewes and another 5,700 commercial ewes.

Lambing averages 135 per cent and lambs are finished to 17kg. Two-year-old replacement heifers are bought in annually for the 120-head Angus cow herd. Every year, all but the lightest 10 calves are sold at weaning. The policy is simple to manage and keeps the genetics of the herd diversified sufficiently that the same bull can be used for several years. For the past five years, the property has also wintered 650 dairy cows.

Warren has EID tagged his stud animals since 2006 and the commercial two-tooths have been tagged since 2009. . .

Fonterra begins construction on new IDR357 billion plant in Indonesia:

Fonterra today commenced construction on its first blending and packing plant in Indonesia, which will support the growth of its market leading consumer brands Anlene, Anmum and Anchor Boneeto.

Located in West Java, the plant is Fonterra’s first manufacturing facility in the country and its largest investment in a new manufacturing facility in ASEAN in the last 10 years.

Director General of Agro Industry at the Ministry of Industry, Panggah Susanto, joined Fonterra at an event in Jakarta to mark the official start of construction today.

Pascal De Petrini, Managing Director of Fonterra Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA), said that Fonterra Brands Manufacturing Indonesia Cikarang Plant will allow Fonterra to meet the ever-growing demand for dairy nutrition in Indonesia. . .

Dry conditions in Northland and Waikato remain a big concern:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says dry conditions in parts of Waikato and Northland remain a serious concern.

“Local authorities in Northland have announced the western parts of their region are in drought. This reflects the tough few months they’ve had as pasture has browned off.

“Cyclone Lusi has helped green tinges appear in some places, but the rainfall was erratic and insufficient. Western Northland and large parts of the Waikato remain very dry.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries is keeping a close eye on conditions here and elsewhere. I’ve seen for myself how dry things are on two trips to the Waikato in the last two weeks. . .

West Coast Northland drought declaration a relief:

The adverse event declaration covering drought in Northland’s West Coast the declaration will not provide a lot of direct financial assistance but will provide huge psychological relief.

“New Zealanders will get an inkling of what the guys on Northland’s West Coast have been going through. Not just since November, but since 2012 and even before that,” says Roger Ludbrook, Federated Farmers Northland provincial president.

“The big thing a declaration triggers is the Northland Rural Support Trust, so any farmer can approach the RST for free advice on farm management, or just someone to have a decent chinwag with.

“Beyond this, it doesn’t mean much financially unless the absolute worst happens. There is a safety net, but it is exactly the same as for any other New Zealander and carries the same eligibility rules.

“Then there is Inland Revenue and to be fair to them they aren’t unapproachable. . .

Drought-affected farmers encouraged to talk to their banks

Drought-affected farmers should talk to their banks said the New Zealand Bankers’ Association in response to increasingly dry conditions in parts of Northland and Waikato.

“We encourage any farmers facing hardship as a result of the lack of rain to contact their bank to discuss options for assistance and how they can work through these challenging conditions,” said New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Kirk Hope. . . .

Fonterra profit down but revenue on track to break $20 billion:

Fonterra Cooperative Group’s half year results means it could be back on track to break the $20 billion revenue barrier; corporate New Zealand’s ‘four minute mile.’

“I think the fall in operating profit will grab attention instead of where it ought to be focussed, on revenue,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“This is real money coming into the New Zealand economy.  I mean revenue for the half-year is up 21 percent to $11.3 billion.  While we’ve got close to the $20 billion barrier in the past, this time, we’ve got a real chance of breaking it.

“That said, the declared drought in Northland along with drought-like conditions in the upper North Island could act like a brake.  We’ve also seen GlobalDairyTrade retreat in recent trading events due in part to increased volume. . .

Pengxin picks up former Fonterra executive Romanos for NZ Milk role, report says:

(BusinessDesk) – Shanghai Pengxin has hired Gary Romano, who resigned from Fonterra Cooperative Group last year during the botulism scare, to oversee the Chinese company’s overseas operations including its New Zealand farms, the NZ Herald reports.

Romano’s Linked In profile says he is “currently on the beach before becoming active again in 2014.” He resigned as head of NZ Milk Products at Fonterra last August as the company embarked on a global recall of whey protein concentrate. The bacterium was eventually shown to be harmless.

He will become chief executive of NZ Milk Management and a director of Pengxin’s two farm groups in the North Island and South Island, according to the Herald. Terry Lee, managing director of Pengxin’s Milk New Zealand unit, didn’t immediately return calls. . .

Samoa sheep farming increasing:

Sheep farming in Samoa is growing through a programme funded by the World Bank.

Under the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project, the World Bank is helping develop livestock, fruits and vegetable farming.

Sheep were introduced in Samoa in 2004, with the flock now grown to 700. . .

Macca’s hits milestone of three million kilos of Angus

AngusPure recognises programme as instrumental to success of Angus demand

McDonald’s New Zealand today announced it has sold a whopping three million kilograms of New Zealand Angus beef since 2009. With today’s launch of the promotional Angus the Great burger, the company expects to continue its contribution to the success of local Angus beef sales

This milestone is acknowledged by AngusPure’s chairman Tim Brittain, who says the ‘McAngus’ programme has been instrumental in helping grow the demand for Angus cattle, and that Kiwi farmers have been well rewarded since the original launch of the Angus burger range in 2009. . .


Thursday’s quiz

March 27, 2014

1. Who said: Something my mum taught me years and years and years ago, is life’s just too short to carry around a great bucket-load of anger and resentment and bitterness and hatreds and all that sort of stuff. ? (I’ll give you a hint as this probably isn’t an easy one, it’s a man, a politician of recent vintage and someone who I’m not sure put that into practice).

2. What are four of the five basic tastes?

3. It’s amertume  in French, amarezza in Italian,  amargo  in Spanish and kawa  in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What gives Pink Gin its colour?

5.  It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail. Does this quote from Lech Walesa explain left wing politics?


Value better than volume

March 27, 2014

New Zealand’s tourism industry has unveiled its goal to contribute $41 billion a year to the economy by 2025, up from $24 billion now.

Tourism 2025 – Growing Value Together/Whakatipu Uara Ngatahi is a framework to unite New Zealand’s large and diverse tourism industry and ignite strong, aspirational economic growth.

It is an industry commitment to growing value by working together, for the long – term benefit of New Zealand tourism and the wider economy.

“ Tourism 2025 is the industry aligning for growth. We can see the world has changed. We are excited by the new opportunities but we understand that as more and more countries enter the race for the global tourism dollar, we will succeed only if we improve the competitiveness of New Zealand tourism,” Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Martin Snedden says.

“ Our aspiration is for annual tourism revenues to be $41 billion by 2025. To achieve that, we must grow international tourism at a rate of 6% year on year and domestic tourism at a rate of 4% year on year. The focus is value , rather than visitor numbers. We will grow volume, but we will grow value faster. ” . . .

Whenever I hear someone talk about increasing tourism I recall two incidents in Europe.

The first was in the Sistine Chapel in Rome where there were far too many people, and in spite of requests to show respect by remaining silent, far too much noise detracting from the beauty and the sacredness.

The second was climbing the steep path to the Acropolis in Athens when our guide turned round and said, “Bloody hell, where did all these people come from?”

When a guide complains about the crowd you know it’s far too big.

Kiwi friends were with us and we all agreed that the message for New Zealand was to go for value rather than volume.

We can’t compete with the plastic mass tourism that other countries offer and we shouldn’t try to.

There are places which can cope with crowds, but many of our attractions and much of the country’s beauty are better appreciated by fewer people at a time and would be spoiled by large numbers.

We’ve already got problems with people doing New Zealand on the cheap who freedom camp and leave rubbish and human waste in their wake.

We shouldn’t shut the door to any tourists, but the effort should go into attracting those who are more likely to spend more.

Tourism supports a lot of relatively low paid jobs in hospitality. Cleaning is cleaning regardless of the price people are paying for their rooms. But people who stay at more expensive places also tend to spend more money in other businesses.

A  man who takes Chinese visitors on limousine tours told me he has had passengers who come with $1 million in spending money. He took one couple to a shop which sold alpaca blankets and they bought 80 for gifts to take home.

There is potential for a lot more tourists like this as long as we ensure that we provide value for those who seek it.


D is for

March 27, 2014

Kim Dotcom plans to launch his iNternet Party today.

He has money, though some of it is owed to creditors.

He doesn’t have any of the 500 members he’ll need to register the party. Given he’s launching an app to encourage people to sign up for a very small sum, it might not be hard to recruit them.

But it takes a lot more than money and members who pay pennies to win voter support.

Vernon Small writes that D is for Dotcom, desperate and dateless:

. . . Despite Kim Dotcom’s schmoozing of MPs from most Opposition parties at his mega-mansion, the last chance for a significant tie-up – at least with a party that can be confident of holding a seat after September 20 – seems to have faded to black.

Without that, the Internet Party is facing the reality of its pledge to fold the tent and endorse another party if it is not polling more than the 5 per cent threshold before the election campaign.

Would it be too cruel to mark a party’s death on the day it is born? . . .

Hone Harawira won’t do anything unless Dotcom refuses to entertain any deal with National and has several other reasons to stay clear of the dotbomb party:

They don’t have a real membership base.

They don’t have clear policies.

They don’t have recognisable political leaders.

They don’t have any candidates.

Time is short to prepare for the election and to organise the campaign.

Asking members to put election prep on hold “while we wait for the Internet Party to decide what they stand for is just not an option”.

If that’s not bad enough Whaleoil has allegations about Dotcom’s admiration for Hitler.

If that’s true then let’s hope D is also for doomed and the Internet Party will follow many others that fail.

 

 

 

 


Revenue up, record payout, profit down

March 27, 2014

Fonterra’s half-year report shows increased revenue, a record milk payout and a lower profit.

Interim Results Highlights

•    Forecast Cash Payout for the 2013/14 Season of $8.75, up 42 per cent
–    Farmgate Milk Price $8.65 per kgMS
–    Estimated full year dividend of 10 cents per share
•    Revenue $11.3 billion, up 21 per cent  
•    Normalised EBIT $403 million, down 41 per cent
•    Net profit after tax (NPAT) $217 million, down 53 per cent
•    Earnings per share 13 cents, down 54 per cent
•    Interim dividend of five cents per share

Fonterra Co-operative Group is on track to deliver the highest-ever returns to Farmer Shareholders and the New Zealand economy, with a forecast Cash Payout of $8.75.

Chairman John Wilson said the forecast Cash Payout – comprising a forecast Farmgate Milk Price of $8.65 per kgMS and an estimated dividend of 10 cents per share – is strong compared with last season’s final Cash Payout of $6.16 per kgMS.  

“A forecast Cash Payout of $8.75 represents a $13.8 billion injection into the New Zealand economy.  An estimated 50 cents in every $1 of payout is spent by our farmers locally, meaning the benefits will be felt in urban as well as rural communities1,” said Mr Wilson.

We’re seeing the benefits in North Otago for farmers and those who work for, supply and service them and that flows through to the wider community.

“Our current Season forecast reflects sustained strong milk powder prices which, on average, are ahead by US$1,200 per tonne compared to last season.

“Although we are forecasting the highest-ever Farmgate Milk Price returns and have achieved strong revenue growth, NPAT is down 53 per cent to $217 million.  Normalised EBIT is also down 41 per cent to $403 million, compared with the very strong earnings in the first half of last year,” said Mr Wilson.

The formula for setting the milk price is governed by legislation.

The lower profit is partly a reflection on that price and also the company’s inability to make and sell more value-added product.

Milk supply is increasing in other countries which is likely to subdue prices and no farmer with any sense will be budgeting on a payout anywhere near this season’s levels in the next season.

 


March 27 in history

March 27, 2014

196 BC  Ptolemy V ascended to the throne of Egypt.

1306 Robert The Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone.

1309  Pope Clement V excommunicated Venice and all its population.

1329  Pope John XXII issued his In Agro Dominico condemning some writings of Meister Eckhart as heretical.

1613  The first English child born in Canada at Cuper’s Cove, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy.

1625  Charles I beccame King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France.

1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1794 The United States Government established a permanent navy and authorized the building of six frigates.

1794 Denmark and Sweden formed a neutrality compact.

1814 War of 1812: Forces under General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

1836 Texas Revolution: Goliad massacre – Antonio López de Santa Anna ordered the Mexican army to kill about 400 Texans at Goliad, Texas.

1836 Kirtland Temple in Ohio was dedicated in an 8 hour long service led by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.

1846  Mexican-American War: Siege of Fort Texas.

1851 – First reported sighting of the Yosemite Valley by Europeans.

1854 Crimean War: The United Kingdom declared war on Russia.

1863 Sir Henry Royce, English automobile pioneer, was born (d. 1933).

1871 The first international rugby football match, England v. Scotland, was played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.

1881 Rioting took place in Basingstoke in protest against the daily vociferous promotion of rigid Temperance by the Salvation Army.

1883 English Salvation Army officers, Captain George Pollard and Lieutenant Edward Wright, arrived at Port Chalmers on a mission to establish a New Zealand branch of the quasi-military Christian evangelical movement, which had been founded in the slums of London’s East End in 1865.

The 'Sallies' come to New Zealand

1886 Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrendered to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

1899 Gloria Swanson, American actress, was born  (d. 1983).

1906 The Alpine Club of Canada was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1910 A fire during a barn-dance in Ököritófülpös, Hungary, killed 312.

1912 James Callaghan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 2005).

1917  Cyrus Vance, American politician, was born (d. 2002).

1918 Moldova and Bessarabia joined Romania.

1924 Sarah Vaughan, American singer, was born (d. 1990).

1931 David Janssen, American actor, was born (d. 1980).

1938  The Battle of Taierzhuang.

1941 Yugoslavian Air Force officers toppled the pro-axis government in a bloodless coup.

1943  Battle of the Komandorski Islands – In the Aleutian Islands battle started when United States Navy forces intercepted Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.

1945 Operation Starvation, the aerial mining of Japan’s ports and waterways began.

1950 Tony Banks, English musician (Genesis), was born.

1958  Nikita Khrushchev became Premier of the Soviet Union.

1959 Andrew Farriss, Australian musician (INXS), was born.

1963  Beeching axe: Dr. Richard Beeching issued a report calling for huge cuts to the United Kingdom’s rail network.

1964  The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 struck South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

1969 Mariner 7 was launched.

1970 Concorde made its first supersonic flight.

1975 Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System began.

1975  Fergie, American pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), was born.

1976 The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opened.

1977 Tenerife disaster: Two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). 61 survived on the Pan Am flight.

1980 The Norwegian oil platform Alexander Kielland collapsed in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212.

1980 Silver Thursday: A steep fall in silver prices, resulting from the Hunt Brothers attempting to corner the market in silver, led to panic on commodity and futures exchanges.

1984 Ernie Abbott, the caretaker at Wellington’s Trades Hall, was killed instantly when he moved a booby-trapped suitcase.

Trades Hall bombing

1986 A car bomb exploded at Russell Street Police HQ in Melbourne, killing 1 police officer and injuring 21 people.

1990 The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí to Cuba in an effort to bridge the information blackout imposed by the Castro regime.

1993  Jiang Zemin was appointed President of the People’s Republic of China.

1993 – Italian former minister and Christian Democracy leader Giulio Andreotti was accused of mafia allegiance by the tribunal of Palermo.

1994 – One of the biggest tornado outbreaks in recent memory hit the Southeastern United States. One tornado slammed into a church in Piedmont, Alabama during Palm Sunday services killing 20 and injuring 90.

1994 – The Eurofighter took its first flight in Manching, Germany.

1998 The Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.

1999 An F-117 Nighthawk was shot down during the Kosovo War.

2002 – Passover Massacre: A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 29 people partaking of the Passover meal in Netanya, Israel.

2004 HMS Scylla (F71), a decommissioned Leander class frigate, was sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe.

2009 – Situ Gintung, an artificial lake in Indonesia, failed killing at least 99 people.

2009 – A suicide bomber killed at least 48 at a mosque in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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