Word of the day

Aliment – food; nourishment, nutriment, sustenance; maintenance; alimony.

Rural round-up


Bad weather in south destroys crops – Kloe Palmer:

Wintry weather has hit the South Island and is moving up the country.

Drivers on the Crown Range between Queenstown and Wanaka were caught out by snow this morning, and heavy rain is forecast for much of the country for the next 24 hours. That is bad news for crop farmers in Canterbury.

As rain pours down, Federated Farmers say an unseasonably wet two months has made harvesting nearly impossible. The crop is too damp and the ground too soggy for the machinery.

“It’s just frustrating, a huge frustration, and there will be a massive economical hit for some of those farmers, but it can’t be quantified yet,” says Chris Allen of Federated Farmers. . .

Little impact seen on Synlait, a2, Fonterra fund from tighter Chinese infant formula rules – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s listed dairy companies, Synlait Milk, a2 Milk Co and Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, probably won’t face much disruption from tighter rules on infant formula in China, the nation’s biggest market for milk products, investors say.

A2, whose Platinum infant formula is manufactured at Synlait’s Canterbury plant, led the three dairy companies lower on the NZX today, after saying it is monitoring and responding to China’s new requirements, which include demonstrating a close association between brand owner and manufacturer, and a new form of registration from May 1.

China telegraphed its new requirements to the government last week by releasing an audit of a sample of New Zealand manufacturers conducted in March. That left officials and companies scrambling to interpret the changes in time for the registration deadline this week. The government says manufacturers who control 90 percent of the nation’s infant formula exports are working through the registration process but the remaining 10 percent face a tougher job to comply. . .

Whangarei market generating $10m of activity – Hugh Stringleman:

The weekly Whangarei Growers Market generates nearly $10 million annually of direct sales and flow-on economic activity for Northland, a social and economic impact study shows.

It employs 90 people, mainly stall-holders on Saturday mornings.

The study was commissioned by the market company and was done by a team from the Northtec business management faculty, supervised by Dr Warren Hughes, an Auckland researcher and academic.

The team found the market turnover last year was $3.66m and additional economic activity was $5.84m. . .

Setting the standard in poultry vaccine – Tim Fulton:

The low-slung office of Pacificvet in Christchurch suburb Hornby stood up strongly to the earthquakes.

That’s just as well, because the company has a stock of especially sensitive vaccine.

A lot of Pacificvet’s practical know-how comes from the owners, Bruce Graham and Kent Deitemeyer.

They are proud of their modern diagnostics laboratory at the Innovation Park near Templeton, southwest of Christchurch. . .

Applications open for Rural Women/Access Homehealth health scholarship:

Applications are now open for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship 2014.

“This $3000 scholarship will be awarded to a health professional to help further his or her studies,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Wendy McGowan.

We encourage health professionals, especially those studying at a post-graduate level, to apply before the closing date of 1 July. . .

 More support needed in rural communities as legal highs withdrawn – Rural Women NZ:

Rural Women NZ welcomes news that the Government is tackling the issue of legal highs, following reports from our members of a surge in anti-social and threatening behaviour in rural townships, apparently stemming from their use.

However Rural Women NZ says the withdrawal of supply from shops must be coupled with more resources in rural areas for those suffering from the effects of drug addiction, and their families.

“There is real concern in rural communities about the lack of access to specialist services,” says Rural Women NZ health spokesperson, Margaret Pittaway.

“Distance to treatment services and support for families can be a real barrier to getting the help required to overcome addiction, or deal with its results.” . . .

Is the third R rubbish?


My parents were small g greenies.

Waste not, want not was their mantra, the result of Presbyterian upbringings in both senses of the word and living through the depression.

They didn’t buy it if they didn’t need it.

If they bought it they used it until it could be used no longer or they found another use or another home for it.

Reducing and reusing were second nature to them. Mum even washed and reused plastic wrap. Dad took what his family regarded as unfortunate pride in wearing clothes until they were well and truly worn out and only then allowed to be put in the rag bag to be used as a duster.

Their example has shaped my behaviour.

I can’t claim to be quite as good at reducing and reusing as they were but I do follow their good example.

It’s the third R of the environmental cause – recycling, with which I struggle because I wonder if recycling is garbage?

If you follow the link you’ll read the story of school children collecting rubbish for recycling.

. . .  Miss Aponte finished emptying the last bag. “We’ve been learning about the need to reduce, reuse and recycle,” she said, and pointed at the pile. “How does all this make you feel?”

“Baaaad,” the students moaned.

Miss Aponte separated out two bottles, the only items in the pile that could be recycled. She asked what lesson the students had learned. The class sentiment was summarized by Lily Finn, the student who had been so determined to save the half folder: “People shouldn’t throw away paper or anything. They should recycle it. And they shouldn’t eat candy in school.”

Lily’s judgment about candy sounded reasonable, but the conclusion about recycling seemed to be contradicted by the data on the floor. The pile of garbage included the equipment used by the children in the litter hunt: a dozen plastic bags and two dozen pairs of plastic gloves. The cost of this recycling equipment obviously exceeded the value of the recyclable items recovered. The equipment also seemed to be a greater burden on the environment, because the bags and gloves would occupy more space in a landfill than the two bottles.

Without realizing it, the third graders had beautifully reproduced the results of a grand national experiment begun in 1987 — the year they were born, back when the Three R’s had nothing to do with garbage. That year a barge named the Mobro 4000 wandered thousands of miles trying to unload its cargo of Long Islanders’ trash, and its journey had a strange effect on America. The citizens of the richest society in the history of the planet suddenly became obsessed with personally handling their own waste.

Believing that there was no more room in landfills, Americans concluded that recycling was their only option. Their intentions were good and their conclusions seemed plausible. Recycling does sometimes makes sense — for some materials in some places at some times. But the simplest and cheapest option is usually to bury garbage in an environmentally safe landfill. And since there’s no shortage of landfill space (the crisis of 1987 was a false alarm), there’s no reason to make recycling a legal or moral imperative. Mandatory recycling programs aren’t good for posterity. They offer mainly short-term benefits to a few groups — politicians, public relations consultants, environmental organizations, waste-handling corporations — while diverting money from genuine social and environmental problems. Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America: a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources. . .

Good intentions have paved the way to the view that recycling is good and dumping rubbish is bad.

Sometimes that is right.

Sometimes it’s not and another example is one covered by the ODT  (to which I can’t find a link) which recounted the awful water and air pollution from plastic recycling in China and the lung disease the workers who processed it suffered.

The story was written several years ago.

It’s possible recycling has improved since then and that the total net impact on the environment of collecting, transporting and recycling plastic is now positive.

It’s possible that it’s not yet but could be.

But how do we know that it is and that recycling is better than careful disposal in sealed landfills?

If, as in the cases above, recycling is wasting time, money, human and natural resources, and causing pollution, the third r is not recycling but rubbish.

Hat tip: AEIdeas

Political meddling won’t help meat industry


Labour’s primary sector policy is likely to include meddling with the meat industry:

A capital gains tax on farmland, stringent environmental practices and a revamp of the meat sector are up for consideration as the Labour Party makes a play for the rural vote.

Their policy position is still in development but the party’s primary industries spokesman, Damien O’Connor, was in Hamilton yesterday to gauge reaction on proposals in two days of meetings with sector groups and party faithful in Waikato and Coromandel.

He said farmers would be opposed to a capital gains tax at first but it was necessary to halt “rampant” price increases and to keep land productive.

“People buying farmland should do so on the basis of its productive-return capacity, not on some expectation of a capital gain that effectively makes it more difficult for the next farmer to make a living,” he said. . .

Productive return should govern prices but how will imposing a CGT which increases the price influence that?

It hasn’t worked anywhere else.

In Argentina, for example, it reduces farm sales and increases absentee ownership.

The meat industry was in deep trouble, he said, and needed to be transformed to offer more security to farm workers, businesses and freezing workers. “At the moment there is so much uncertainty, a shrinking base of the number of sheep.. .

The meat industry does have problems but they’re not insurmountable and they won’t be solved by political meddling.

It’s not Labour’s industry, it’s is a collection of private businesses and co-operatives and it’s up to them to sort it out.

Primary Industry Minister Nathan Guy has the right approach:

. . . The best way to put a sector into a downward spiral is to consistently talk doom and gloom. It is not true that the meat industry is on the way out. This industry is capable of truly leading the world in its innovative and profitable approach to selling high quality meat.

I will continue to back this sector and I will continue to acknowledge the great success stories. We need to hear even more pride and passion from everyone involved. . .

My role as Minister is to listen to, to act on behalf of, and to support, this sector.

So I now publicly reiterate statements that I have made in a variety of forums. If a significant portion of the sector, and this means across the whole sector come together with a solution of how they want to better the industry, my door is open. I will listen and I will do what I can to support the sector.

Any substantial change needs to come with a very clear and very broad level of support. I am not prepared to interfere in the structure of a sector without the support of that sector. The Government doesn’t own the industry – you do.

I doubt that anyone in this room wants the heavy hand of government dreaming up bureaucratic solutions that haven’t come from the ground up. . .

The heavy hand of government is what Labour is threatening.

That and the CGT are two very good reasons why they’ll be struggling for the rural vote again.

A month with nothing to lose


Retiring isn’t a word that fits Shane Jones and in the wake of  his retirement from parliament he’s being anything but retiring.

Take a look at the list of stories on Jones and Labour in Dr Bryce Edwards’ Politics Daily.

Shane Jones and the Labour Party

Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Jones departure deals a painful blow to Labour

Michael Fox (Stuff): Labour reels in Jones’ wake

Tim Watkin (Pundit): Time running out for Labour

Vernon Small (Stuff): Church collapsed? Buy a house

John Armstrong: Labour’s brutal week reveals Achilles heel

Claire Trevett (Herald): Keeping up without Jones

TVNZ: Shane Jones reflects on life as a Labour MP

TVNZ: Labour strongest it’s been in a long time – party president

Jonathan Milne (Herald): Jones: ‘The right man in the wrong party’

Herald: Editorial: Labouring under false impressions

Deborah Mahuta-Coyle (Herald): Maori votes worth courting

Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Labour hopes money policy will deflect focus from Jones

NBR: Labour Party President says the Party is strongest it’s been ‘in a long time’

Rodney Hide (Herald): Reverse racism fails to raise ire

Ross Henderson (Stuff): Jones sells out to the capitalists

Taranaki Daily Times: Editorial – Labour treads water as Jones jumps ship

Michele Hewitson (Herald): Interview: Jacinda Ardern 

ODT: Editorial – Narrowing focus for Labour

NBR: Shane Jones farewells Labour, rejects ‘Green Gospel’

David Farrar (Kiwiblog):Jones says Greens are anti-industry

David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Labour’s woes

Fundamentally useless: Only Robertson can go to the centre

The Standard: The strength of the left: working together…

Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Why Shane Jones won’t matter on September 20th and why Labour need to start talking about their first 100 days

John Sargeant (Stuff): Forget Jones, remember Jesus

Michael Cummings (Stuff): Editorial: Lessons from Jones’ departure

Nelson Mail: Editorial: Flawed MP leaves Labour in a pickle

Radio NZ: PSA sees political interference in Jones’ appointment

Isaac Davison (Herald): Parting shot undignified way to exit, says Turei

Jane Patterson (Radio NZ): Power play

Stephen Franks: The loss of Shane Jones is real for all of us

Danyl Mclauchlan (Dim-Post): The Beatification of St Jonesy

Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Whare of Cards – It’s a shame that Shane sold out to keep up with the Joneses

Claire Trevett (Herald): Revealed: Shane Jones’ secret fear

Scott Yorke (Imperator Fish): This is treason, sirs!

Toby Manhire (Herald): RE: Shane – tsunami in the parliamentary pond

Josie Pagani (Pundit): Here’s what a real bloke sounds like

Tim Selwyn (Tumeke): Shane Jones Nationalised

Jane Clifton (Listener): Mr Untouchable

Ben Clark (The Standard): Politics bruises even Shane Jones

David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Jones cites Greens influence as factor in departure

Herald: Turei: Jones ‘won’t be missed’

No Right Turn: An FPP politician in an MMP world

Matthew Dallas (Stuff): Jones’ kiss-off leaves sour taste

Newstalk ZB: Turei shrugs off Jones’ criticism

Claire Trevett (Herald): Cunning McCully’s king hit neutralises Jones

Greg Presland (The Standard): Labour and the working class

Radio NZ: ‘Harder job’ after Jones’ departure

Simon Prast (Daily Blog): A Big Hole

Rachel Morton (TV3): Shane Jones: Greens are anti-industry

NBR Staff (NBR): Greens too anti-industry — Shane Jones

Corazon Millar (Newstalk ZB): Greens take the high road over insults

Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Whare of Cards – It’s a shame that Shane sold out to keep up with the Joneses

Sparrowhawk: ANZAC day, Shane and Māori leadership: do we really need another bloody hero?

Pete George (Your NZ): Poll pall for Labour after Jones exit

David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Guest Post: Shane Jones, “Heretic Hunting” and Waitakere Man

Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): Toxic Greens drove Jones from Labour

Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): Toxic Greens don’t like their reality check

It’s a very long list.

Few if any of those stories reflect well on Labour and none focuses on what matters to voters.

Jones is going, but neither immediately nor quietly..

He’s got a month with nothing to lose and he’s going to make the most of it.

Whether it’s utu, pride or sheer bloody mindedness he’s going to keep on talking and whatever that does for him it will do nothing at all for his party.

While Jones has nothing to lose, Labour has plenty – its chances of winning the election.

Marry or else – church


A Gore church has given one of its members an ultimatum to marry her de facto partner or leave him:

A 72-year old Southland woman has had her 30-year church membership revoked because she lives in a de facto relationship.

The Calvin Community Church, a Presbyterian church in Gore, has revoked the membership of one of its long-term members because her relationship with a man she lives with was “at variance with what is expected of a member of Calvin Community Church”.

The woman said she was told “out of the blue” she had to either marry her long-term partner, leave him, or no longer be a church member.

She was still able to attend the church, but she has declined to do so because “they have discussed my private life around the table”. . .

The woman and her partner, who have both been married previously, have been together for eight years and have been living together in Gore for three years.

As a Christian, she said she would prefer to be married to align with her beliefs.

But her partner was not ready and it was not anyone’s place to force someone into marriage, she said.

“There is only one judge and that is God. Why break up a happy relationship. I’m very happy living with him, I’m too late in life to go through a relationship upset.”

“I’ve thought about it and prayed about it and I’m happy with my relationship.”

Elders at the Gore church disagreed.

In a letter to the distraught woman, senior pastor Keith Hooker said those who wished to be counted as members were responsible for upholding the church’s standards in accordance with scripture.

It was the church’s view living unmarried with a long-term partner did not meet those requirements.

“You have said that your partner is not willing to marry you. Although being married is outside of your control it is, however, your decision to remain in the relationship,” his letter says.

“While we respect your right to live in a de facto relationship, it is quite clearly at variance with what is expected of a member of Calvin Community Church.” . .

Cohabitating without a marriage certificate used to be called living in sin.

This church still believes it is.

She’s still welcome to worship but not be a member.

It’s the church’s right to do that – is it right to do it?





April 29 in history


711  Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad landed at Gibraltar to begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).

1429 Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orleans.

1483 Gran Canaria, the main of the Canary Islands was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile, an important step in the expansion of Spain.

1624 Cardinal Richelieu became Prime Minister of Louis XIII.

1672 Franco-Dutch War: Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.

1707  Scotland and England unified in United Kingdom of Great Britain.

1770 James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.

1832 Évariste Galois released from prison.

1861 American Civil War: Maryland’s House of Delegates voted not to secede from the Union.

1863 William Randolph Hearst, American publisher, was born (d. 1951).

1864 – The British attacked the Ngāi Te Rangi stronghold of Pukehinahina (Gate Pā) with the heaviest artillery bombardment and one of the largest forces used in the New Zealand Wars.

1864 The Theta Xi fraternity was founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

1881 – The steamer Tararua, en route from Port Chalmers to Melbourne, struck a reef at Waipapa Point, Southland. Of the 151 passengers and crew on board, 131 were lost including 12 women and 14 children.

1882  The “Elektromote” – forerunner of the trolleybus – was tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin.

1899 Duke Ellington, American jazz pianist and bandleader, was born (d. 1974).

1901 Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, was born (d. 1989).

1903 A 30 million cubic-metre landslide killed 70 in Frank, Alberta.

1915 Donald Mills, American singer (Mills Brothers), was born (d. 1999).

1916 World War I: The British 6th Indian Division surrendered to Ottoman Forces at Kt in one of the largest surrenders of British forces up to that point.

1916 Easter Rebellion: Martial law in Ireland was lifted and the rebellion was officially over with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

1933 Rod McKuen, American poet and composer, was born.

1934 Otis Rush, American musician, was born.

1938 Bernard Madoff, American convict, who was a financier and Chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange., was born.

1945 World War II: The German Army in Italy unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

1945 World War II: Start of Operation Manna.

1945 World War II – Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler married his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor.

1945 – The Dachau concentration camp was liberated by United States troops.

1945 – The Italian commune of Fornovo di Taro was liberated from German forces by Brazilian forces.

1946  Former Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo and 28 former Japanese leaders were indicted for war crimes.

1952 Anzus came into force.

ANZUS comes into force

1953 The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV.

1954 Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian, was born.

1957 – Daniel Day-Lewis, British-Irish actor, was born.

1958 Michelle Pfeiffer, American actress, was born.

1958 Eve Plumb, American actress, was born.

1965 Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) successfully launched its seventh rocket in its Rehber series.

1967 After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title.

1968  The controversial musical Hair opened on Broadway.

1970 Andre Agassi, American tennis player, was born.

1970 Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong.

1974 President Richard Nixon announced the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings related to the Watergate  scandal.

1975 Vietnam War: Operation Frequent Wind: The U.S. began to evacuate U.S. citizens from Saigon prior to an expected North Vietnamese takeover. U.S. involvement in the war ended.

1979  Jo O’Meara, British singer (S Club), was born.

1980 Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. was founded.

1980 Kian Egan, Irish singer (Westlife), was born.

1986 Roger Clemens then of the Boston Red Sox set a major league baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1986 A fire at the Central library of the City of Los Angeles Public Library damaged or destroyed 400,000 books and other items.

1991 A cyclone struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 mph, killing at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless.

1992  Riots in Los Angeles  following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 53 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

1997 The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 enters into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories.

1999 The Avala TV Tower near Belgrade was destroyed in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

2002 The United States was re-elected to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, one year after losing the seat that it had held for 50 years.

2004 Dick Cheney and George W. Bush testified before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office.

2004  Oldsmobile built its final car ending 107 years of production.

2005 Syria completed withdrawal from Lebanon, ending 29 years of occupation.

2005 – New Zealand’s first civil union took place.

2011 – Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton.

2013 – A powerful explosion occured in an office building in Prague, Czech Republic, believed to have been caused by natural gas, injures 43 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

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