130ish

May 3, 2014

A Facebook IQ test gives me 130.

That earned me three stars and a smart.

But it’s more 130ish with 3ish stars and smartish because I got bored part way through and guessed several answers instead of working them out.


Word of the day

May 3, 2014

Froward – difficult to deal with; not easily controlled or managed; willfully contrary; stubbornly willful.


Rural round-up

May 3, 2014

 Govt reallocates $24 million for Rotorua water clean-up:

The Government will reallocate $24 million to a new project that encourages land owners in the Lake Rotorua catchment to switch to low nitrogen land uses or find other ways to reduce the amount of nitrogen polluting the lake water, Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced.

“The Rotorua community has asked us to shift existing funding commitments to a land use management and change project, as part of the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes water quality improvements programme,” Ms Adams says.

“The original plan was to use the money for diverting nutrient-rich streams flowing into the lake and capping sediments to stop nutrients flowing up from the lake bed. Cabinet agreed with the lake stakeholder advisory group that these short term initiatives really just shifted the problem somewhere else. . .

Rotorua farmers pleased with Government contribution to nitrogen reduction:

Farmers in the Lake Rotorua catchment were relieved to hear confirmation on Monday that the Government will fund half of a $48 million scheme to reduce nitrogen losses from pastoral land around the lake.

This money had been budgeted for “in-lake” actions so there is no additional cost to taxpayers and ratepayers who share the cost equally. The scheme is part of a wider effort to improve water quality in Lake Rotorua by reducing nutrient inputs – both nitrogen and phosphorus – from urban, rural and natural sources.

Rotorua farmers are working with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and other stakeholders to develop draft rural land use rules around nitrogen. Those rules will target a 140 tonne nitrogen reduction by 2032, in addition to an incentive scheme target of 100 tonnes.  . .

Australia and New Zealand partner to fight animal disease threat:

Australia and New Zealand have agreed to work together to prepare for the unlikely event of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in either country.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, met today in Melbourne and welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to stress the importance of collaboration in combating the disease and its devastating impacts.

“Our number one plan and focus of much of our biosecurity efforts is to keep FMD out of Australia and New Zealand—but you can’t stick your head in the sand about something this significant —you have to plan for the worst,” Minister Joyce said. . .

Vets work on drug resistance:

Vets and doctors have an obligation to work together to face the threat of resistance to anti-microbial drugs, New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) president Dr Steve Merchant says.

“The threat of anti-microbial resistance is recognised as one of the greatest risks to human and animal health and is a high priority for the veterinary profession,” he said.

“After more than 70 years since the first use of penicillin in human medicine there are a number of bacteria in circulation across the world that are resistant to one or more anti-microbials. . .

 

 Abuzz about chainsaw safety – Rebecca Malcolm:

She’s come straight from big-city beauty salons to farming, so it’s fair to say Jodie Vaughan has had a few things to learn.

The former Aucklander has been on an Atiamuri farm for only a matter of weeks after she and partner Rhys Williams moved down to take over farm management roles on the family property.

On Thursday Miss Vaughan was one of more than a dozen women who took part in a chainsaw safety workshop run by Stihl New Zealand as part of Chainsaw Safety Awareness Week, which finishes tomorrow. . .

Farmers urged to attend Ruataniwha public meetings:

With Federated Farmers’ Hawke’s Bay annual general meeting taking place next Wednesday, the Federation is urging its members to find out all they can from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

“It is true members are now putting Ruataniwha under a microscope, especially following the recent Board of Inquiry draft decision,” says Will Foley, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay provincial president.

“I genuinely imagine Ruataniwha will be a talking point at our provincial annual general meeting, next Wednesday at Vidal’s Restaurant in Hastings. . .

 


Saturday’s smiles

May 3, 2014

A group of men had spent months preparing for the opening of duck shooting, building and furnishing a palatial maimai over several weekends.

At last opening morning arrived.

They got up before dawn, loaded provisions into their ute, drove to the duck pond, unloaded the provisions, carried them into the maimai and settled in to wait for dawn.

Dawn came. They spotted a flock of ducks coming in to land and started shooting.

Not a single duck fell into the water.

They settled down and waited for some more ducks.

Another flock eventually arrived. Again the men peppered the air with shots and again missed every duck.

This went on for several hours until eventually one of the men said, “We’ve been here all day, we must have seen more than a thousand ducks but missed every one we’ve shot at. D’ya think it’s time we gave up and went home?”

“Nah, there’s no rush,” one of his mates replied. “There’s time to miss another hundred or two before we go home.”

 

 


What matters

May 3, 2014

Quotes of the day:

. . . Even during booms some businesses will fail, and even during recessions some businesses will soar. That is because what ultimately determines the fate of companies is not whether the economy grows 1% or shrinks 1%, but the quality of management and their ability to anticipate and handle changing conditions be they for their markets, their inputs or their processes. . .

And

. . . Members of the Opposition believe monetary fairies can make the exchange rate settle permanently lower by forcing interest rate cuts and printing money while letting inflation therefore go up. Given the non-zero possibility that such economically ignorant policies get introduced it is worth getting inflation protection by investing more in property – not less. . .

Both from BNZ’s Weekly Overview by Tony Alexander


Wait longer get less with Labour

May 3, 2014

Labour is attacking National for not following Australia’s lead of raising the age of superannuation eligibility.

Australia will be raising the age to 70, Labour plans to raise it to 67.

What Labour is showing is that their plans will either mean less income and/or other priorities for spending.

. . . Finance Minister Bill English said New Zealand can afford to keep the retirement age at 65, despite Australia’s plan to raise it to 70 by 2035.

He said the Australian government, which is dealing with huge deficits, is in a different position to New Zealand, which will return to surplus in the Budget this month.

Mr English said the Government settling the question of the retirement age has allowed the Government to focus on reducing other costs, such as long-term welfare dependency.

Superannuation can be affordable at the current age of eligibility providing the economy keeps growing and money isn’t wasted elsewhere.

Most people would regard superannuitants as a higher priority than younger people who could work and support themselves but don’t.

Increasing the age isn’t Labour’s only policy which will negatively affect older people, their tax increases will too.

National’s tax cuts boosted superannuation rates because they’re based on after-tax income.

Tax rates will increase under Labour, reducing after-tax income and so reducing increases to superannuation.

People will not only have to wait longer to get a pension, they’ll get less when they reach that age than they would under a National-led government.

What will Winston Peters and his followers, who Labour is trying to woo, think of that?


Saturday soapbox

May 3, 2014

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, amuse, bemuse or simply muse.
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