— Jami-Lee Ross (@jamileeross) May 15, 2014
Surplus – an amount of something left over when requirements have been met; amount of an asset or resource that exceeds the portion that is utilised; an excess of production or supply over demand; more than what is needed or used; excess; the excess of assets over liabilities accumulated throughout the existence of a business, excepting assets against which stock certificates have been issued; excess of net worth over capital-stock value; agricultural produce or a quantity of food grown by a nation or area in excess of its needs, especially such a quantity of food purchased and stored by a governmental program of guaranteeing farmers a specific price for certain crops.
Labour has earned itself the description of the nasty party through the predilection of some of its MPs to resort to personal abuse.
Unfortunately at least one member of its would-be coalition partner, the Green Party, is learning from that bad example:
That’s a SMOG – social media own goal – and like the other form of smog it’s dirty.
. . . It’s a privilege to deliver the National-led Government’s sixth Budget.
It’s a particular privilege because this is the first Budget in six years to focus on managing a growing economy rather than recovering from a domestic recession and then the global financial crisis.
A growing economy supports employment and higher wages. It provides opportunities for families. And it pays for public services that New Zealanders rely on.
Budget 2014 looks ahead to build on the hard work done by every New Zealand household and business over the past five years.
New Zealand is in a good position.
We’ve made significant progress in recent years to deliver more jobs and higher incomes.
New Zealand is one of the first developed countries to return to normal economic conditions, with a recovery led by the private sector.
Businesses are investing, wages are rising faster than inflation and our export sector is posting record results despite the headwinds of disruption in international markets and a high exchange rate.
Public agencies are working better for New Zealanders and getting better results.
On most indicators that matter, we’re moving forward as a country.
If we lock in the hard-won gains we’ve made, there’ll be many opportunities over the next decade to improve our economic fortunes and secure a brighter future for New Zealand families.
Each year, millions more consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are becoming affluent enough to want, and afford, the goods and services New Zealand produces.
Our challenge is to muster the capital, the people and the skills to take advantage of this historic change in our prospects and lift the aspirations and prospects of every New Zealander.
That requires sticking to our course, with careful stewardship of public money, with sound, proven economic policies and with a determined focus on results from public services.
Budget 2014 shows a return to fiscal surpluses.
There will be a small surplus next year, and increasing surpluses are forecast over time. The Budget also shows the economy continuing to build momentum, with employment continuing to grow and wages continuing to rise.
But these are just forecasts and there is a lot of work to do to make them a reality.
What matters to people and families across New Zealand are the opportunities created by a sustainable economic recovery.
So an important part of this Budget is lifting New Zealand’s capacity to sustain higher levels of economic growth for longer, grow incomes and support jobs.
And what also matters to people and families is that the Government will support them when they need assistance. . . .
Other Budget highlights include:
The Maxim Institute is launching a free Tax Tracker web app at 6:00 this evening.
. . . The plan? An easy to use, mobile compatible tool giving New Zealanders a much-needed sense of scale in one click.
Simply enter a salary figure, hit ‘GO,’ and find out how much income tax you will pay this year, and how the Government plans to use it with an instant, individualised “tax receipt” based on today’s hot-off-the-press numbers.
What’s new? We’ve added a feature to this year’s Tax Tracker where you can toggle to compare how Government spending has changed on your tax receipt between the 2013 Budget and today’s new figures. . .
(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand has made its second complaint in as many years to the World Trade Organisation about import restrictions and red tape in Indonesia that led to an 80 percent slump in exports of beef and horticultural products.
New Zealand and the US originally teamed up to initiate legal proceedings against Indonesia via the WTO in August last year. That complaint didn’t proceed beyond the consultation stage because Indonesia subsequently changed some of its measures, which under WTO rules meant a new application had to be made.
In the new complaint, lodged on May 8, New Zealand and the US cite Indonesia’s “unjustified and trade-restrictive” licensing requirements on imports, “unreasonable and discriminatory” pre-shipment rules and insufficient published details of how the restrictions work. . .
New rules ‘threat to young farmers‘ – Neil Ratley:
The new dairy farm plan change could force families who have farmed sheep and beef for generations off their land, a Southland Federated Farmers boss says.
Plan Change 13, which came into force in March, requires all new dairy farms to obtain resource consent from Environment Southland before becoming operational.
Since being introduced, more farmers than previously had applied to convert their farms to dairy and none had been turned down, Environment Southland says.
Despite this, Federated Farmers Southland president Russell MacPherson again voiced his concerns about Plan Change 13 at the organisation’s annual general meeting last week.
He said it would be harder for family farms to stay in the family under Plan Change 13. . .
A Marlborough farmer has been fined $15,000 for carrying a child on a work quad bike in what is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind.
Herd manager Rangi Holmes was on Wednesday sentenced at the Nelson District Court on two charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, which prohibits the carrying of passengers on quad bikes used for work, and requires quad bike riders to wear helmets.
WorkSafe New Zealand inspectors said they saw Holmes riding a quad bike in the Rai Valley carrying his two-year-old child in front of him on the bike at least five times during a 20-month period from February 2012. Neither was wearing a helmet. . .
How should dairy farmers react to sensitive issues? – Pasture to Profit:
The public all have strong opinions about on-farm issues of Animal Welfare, Water Quality and TB. Individual Dairy farmers and Rural Professionals need to take a Public Relations leadership position.
Social Media provide powerful tools to take a lead position. We need to make the running and not be forced to play catch-up on sensitive social issues. Defending the indefensible is not very smart. How should farmers respond to Ugly public stories in the media?
I don’t think angry rejection is the right response to these stories in the press. Letters of denial usually imply a cover up. Best to agree with the outrage, then state very firmly that these incidents are totally unacceptable. We must engage with those who are upset and seek a joint understanding and find community agreed solutions. . .
Three Food and Beverage reports were released on 8 May and showcase the key factors driving New Zealand’s food exporting success: high-quality ingredients, disease-free status, comprehensive network of free trade agreements, world-leading business environment, and strong food science capability.
The 2014 edition of the Investors’ Guide to the New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry shows that New Zealand’s food and beverage industry is well positioned for substantial growth, with exports on track to double in value in the next 15 years to US$40 billion.
The Food and Beverage Overview Report complements the Investors Guide with profiles of the top 50 food and beverage companies operating in New Zealand. Collectively these generate revenues of $42 billion. . . .
The Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) has reached its first milestone of being fully established as a limited partnership and has appointed a board of directors.
The RMPP is a red meat sector and government collaboration designed to boost sheep and beef farmer productivity and profitability. It draws together nine industry partners who are co-funding the programme along with the Ministry for Primary Industries through its Primary Growth Partnership (PGP). They include Alliance Group, ANZCO Foods, ANZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (representing sheep and beef farmers), Blue Sky Meats, Greenlea Premier Meats, Progressive Meats, Rabobank and Silver Fern Farms. . .
New techniques spearheaded by the Ministry for Primary Industries have led to some timber exports heading to Australia without first having to be fumigated with the ozone-depleting gas methyl bromide.
Australia wants to keep the burnt pine longhorn beetle that’s found in New Zealand, out of its country and until recently all sawn timber had to be fumigated during the summer flight season of the beetle.
Ministry director of plants, food and environment Peter Thomson says a successful trial has shown the Australians that other methods can be applied to keep the beetle out.
“With this alternative, timber exporters or wood product exporters are able to keep their product in a secure area that will exclude those beetles.
“And as long as they process their product and pack it into containers in a way that excludes the beetle from being able to get in there during the process then they’re free to ship under this new system,” said Mr Thomson. . .
It’s your turn to ask the questions again.
You don’t need to ask a specific number nor do you need to follow the format I usually do.
Anyone who stumps us all will win an electronic batch of shortbread.
Federated Farmers’ Waikato provincial president has responded to a response from Fish & Game NZ to his column on water issues:
Whilst I appreciate Fish and Game taking the time to respond to my article last week, they did not quite get the gist of what I was saying. They have ducked the issue of their lack of accountability and pulled a side angle out of thin air.
I am unsure where they read that I don’t support their investment in wetlands, I just don’t support them touting they’re doing it for environmental reasons when they are clearly in it for the sport. I would rather they spent 100 percent of their budget on wetlands rather than 20 percent, but just don’t pretend you are doing it for the environment. Fish and Game’s wetlands are for breeding game and supporting the population of introduced pests, however I am grateful for the natives that benefit from them.
The fundamental point I made in my article, which has also been misread, is that farmers need to buy licenses from Fish and Game to hunt ducks. Mr. Wilson may need to swot up himself on the nature of duck shooting as a sport and what the season is all about. Whilst he rightly pointed out that you don’t need to have a license if you are hunting on your own farm, he neglected to address the social aspect of hunting where you hunt on friend’s farms, and where Fish and Game makes their fortune. Opening weekend in particular is the height of social events for most farmers. As much as duck shooting is about getting rid of pests it is also about hunting with friends and without their license you would be fined or you could always resort to shooting together over Skype.
So yes we farmers are significant financiers of Fish and Game who, without a mandate, spend our license fees pushing their agenda in court.
One thing I do agree with Mr. Wilson on is that Lake Waikare needs some serious work. The farming community has spent approximately $3 billion on enhancing our environmental performance, but we are well aware there is plenty more to be done. Farmers and regional councils are working well together to rectify water quality issues and will continue to do so. Fish and Game conveniently overlooks the impact Koi Carp is having on Lake Waikare, let alone water fowl, and forgets to mention that Hamilton Lake is one of the worst water quality issues in Waikato with no farmland or stock near it.
This is a prime example of a double standard, where Hamilton Lakes’ deteoriating water quality has had no livestock near it for 50 years, yet hundreds of water fowl and is one of the unhealthiest waterways in the region. There is no shortage of information on where farming has to improve its impact on water quality, and we are, so pointing this out the obvious at this point is just plain petty.
What is left unsaid, or avoided, is why there is deteoriating water quality in rivers and lakes that have no farmland or stock around them. I would invite Fish and Game or anyone to answer that and tell me what investment or planning is happening to rectify those waterways.
Mr. Wilson, we would all do well to consider the water quality in the Waikato. The conversation here should be honest though. Between an organisation that breeds/protects water fowl and the primary industry, we all have our part to play. Let’s be honest in this and what part we are playing.
In the meantime, if the Government won’t make Fish and Game a voluntary subscription organisation, Fish and Game should try and acknowledge all its members in the work it does and part of that is engaging with them in a positive manner. We would welcome Fish and Game to our AGM next Tuesday, on 20 May, at the Hamilton Airport.
Houghton’s original column is here.
What’s the bet among the responses to today’s Budget will be some criticising it for not addressing inequality?
If those tempted to do that read Friedrich von Hayek’s book “Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice,” first they might bite their tongues:
In the West the rise of the great masses to tolerable comfort has been the effect of the general growth of wealth and has been merely slowed down by measures interfering with the market mechanism. It has been this market mechanism which has created the increase of aggregate income, which also has made it possible to provide outside the market for the support of those unable to earn enough. But the attempts to ‘correct’ the results of the market in the direction of ‘social justice’ have probably produced more injustice in the form of new privileges, obstacles to mobility and frustration of efforts than they have contributed to the alleviation of the lot of the poor.
Then again, even had they read this, they probably wouldn’t bite their tongues because these inconvenient truths don’t fit the left-wing narrative that governments , or at least those that lean left, know best.
Former New Zealand First MP Brendan Horan has accused that party’s leader of not making a full disclosure of his pecuniary interests.
Independent MP Brendan Horan says Winston Peters must come clean about his own pecuniary interests and his own use of taxpayer money before making spurious allegations against other people.
The 5 year old bay mare Bellazeel is owned by Mr Peters and others, and has a successful racing career. So far in the 2013/14 season from seven starts, the horse has had two wins and a third place, earning prize-money of $20,175. Mr Peters has conspicuously failed to declare the horse in his pecuniary interests return.
“Mr Peters needs to take an honest look in the mirror. He is a prime example of why our Parliament needs to be subject to the Official Information Act,” Mr Horan says.
Brendan Horan says he is also concerned that the New Zealand First Leader could be misusing taxpayer funds. “I am concerned at reports I am hearing regarding overseas junkets, use of contractors and consultants, and other serious mis-spending. Certainly Mr Peters refuses to follow normal practice and report to his caucus on how the Leaders Budget – some $2.5 million in the current Parliament – is being used. I challenge him to open the books so that taxpayers can be sure the money is being used only for proper purposes.
“Real parties are open with their MPs about what funding is being used for and allow them to bid for funding for projects. That doesn’t happen in Winston’s party where Mr Peters like Smaug secretively guards the budget as if it was his own personal treasure,” said Brendan Horan.
Peters’ responded in his customary way:
“The allegation made against me today via the news media that I should have declared a small, short term lease interest in a racehorse is worse than just bunkum, it is a deliberate attempt at character assassination.
“That attempt is again bound to fail.
“The details are:
1. No declaration is required to own a horse, let alone lease a 10 per cent share in it.
2. At a charity auction I bought that share in a lease, which has expired.
3. I did not seek to get a tax rebate on the charity.
4. The difference between my outlay at the auction and my personal returns on the horse was a 400 per cent deficit.
5. I never had an ownership share, but a short-term leased share in a syndicate.
6. The New Zealand Racing Board has confirmed with me that my interests appeared in a syndicate lease, which is never ownership.
7. The auction took place in late 2008 and even if there was a requirement to declare, which there is not, I was not in parliament for declarations in 2009, ie, good night nurse on this one. . .
Whether he bought the horse at a charity auction and whether he owned it outright or shared a lease of it is irrelevant.
So too is the date he bought the share – what matters is whether he still had a share in the lease it after he returned to parliament in which case he should have declared it.
. . . Mr Peters said it “cost him a fortune for a minor share” and lost him “a lot of money”.
MPs must declare all property, directorships, gifts, shares and any other interests each year, regardless of whether they are profitable.
Mr Peters said part-owning a racehorse was different to being a director of a company.
“You’re not talking about the same thing. If you look at the declarations, they are all over different descriptions.
That’s because they cover a multitude of different interests in different things.
“If you are trying to say that somehow I was not involved in full disclosure, you couldn’t be more wrong. They don’t say [to] declare all your losses, do they?”
Declaring all directorships, gifts, shares and any other interest regardless of whether they’re profitable does seem to cover the horse.
Asked what charity he bought the horse for, he said: “I suspect I’ve forgotten. They put it up on an auction and I said ‘I’ll be up for that’.” . . .
No-one is questioning that the purchase was at a charity auction and which charity probably doesn’t matter.
What matters is whether he owned a share in the horse, or the lease of it, when he was an MP because if so he should have declared it.
An English king (was it one of the Richards?) supposedly lost a battle for want of a horse.
Peters is unlikely to lose anything over the want of a declaration of the horse even if the allegations are true.
Political tragics might enjoy watching him getting a taste of the medicine he so enjoys dishing out to others.
But it’s unlikely to matter to most voters, and certainly not the deluded who support him and who will no doubt see this as another conspiracy against their hero.
P.S. Pete George has the headline of the day on this with Winny horsed by his own petard.
The Dunedin City Council has determined to not invest in the munitions, tobacco, fossil fuel extraction, gambling or pornography industries.
. . . It will also divest itself of any investments in those industries within two years, where those investments are more than a certain level of materiality (to be specified). . . .
If it’s not investing in fossil fuel extraction will it eschew the use of fossil fuels too?
If it doesn’t it’s good intentions appear to be nothing more than empty symbolism because if investing in oil companies is wrong then surely using their products is too.
As this sign on an Invercargill shop window says:
Offshore oil exploration? My car runs on petrol not good intentions!
Today Finance Minister Bill English will deliver his sixth Budget.
When National wont he 2008 election the government inherited the mess left behind after nine years of Labour-led high spending, high taxing, including a forecast decade of deficits and the country in recession before the rest of the world.
Today’s Budget is expected to forecast a return to surplus, albeit a small one.
That is a significant achievement given the expensive dead rats it had to swallow before it was elected and the financial and natural disasters which have happened since.
It has been achieved by careful management, a focus on the quality of spending rather than the quantity spent, while maintaining assistance for the vulnerable and without the slash and burn policies with which previous government have reacted to bad books.
Reaching surplus is cause for celebration but not an excuse for profligacy.
Just as it does for individual or household budgets, a government surplus allows choices.
One of the highest priorities among the choices the government now has is repaying debt.
Another is the focus on spending that makes a positive difference, even if it means paying more now to spend less in the future.
1252 Pope Innocent IV issued the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorised but also limited, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.
1525 The battle of Frankenhausen ended the Peasants’ War.
1536 Anne Boleyn stood trial on charges of treason, adultery and incest; she was condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.
1602 Bartholomew Gosnold became the first European to see Cape Cod.
1648 The Treaty of Westphalia was signed.
1701 The War of the Spanish Succession began.
1755 Laredo, Texas was established by the Spaniards.
1756 The Seven Years’ War began when Great Britain declares war on France.
1776 American Revolution: the Virginia Convention instructed its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain.
1792 War of the First Coalition: France declaresdwar on Kingdom of Sardinia.
1793 Diego Marín Aguilera flew a glider for “about 360 meters”, at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted flights.
1796 First Coalition: Napoleon entered Milan in triumph.
1800 George III survived two assassination attempts in one day.
1811 Paraguay declared independence from Spain.
1817 Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1849 Troops of the Two Sicilies took Palermo and crushed the republican government of Sicily.
1851 Rama IV was crowned King of Thailand.
1857 – Williamina Fleming, Scottish-American astronomer, was born (d. 1911).
1858 Opening of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
1859 Pierre Curie, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1906).
1862 President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture.
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Resaca, Georgia ended.
1891 Rerum Novarum, the first document of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition, was published by Pope Leo XIII.
1897 The Greek army retreated with heavy losses in the Greco-Turkish War.
1901 – First conviction in New Zealand for a motoring offence: Nicholas Oates appeared in the Christchurch Magistrates Court charged with driving ‘a motor car within the city at a speed greater than four miles an hour’ (6.5 km/hr) on Lincoln Road.
1905 The Russian minelayer Amur laid a minefield about 15 miles off Port Arthur and sank Japan’s battleship Hatsuse, 15,000 tons, with 496 crew.
1905 – Las Vegas, Nevada, was founded when 110 acres (0.4 km²), in what later would become downtown, were auctioned.
1910 The last time a major earthquake happened on the Elsinore Fault Zone.
1918 The Finnish Civil War ended.
1919 – The Winnipeg General Strike begins. By 11:00 a.m., almost the whole working population of Winnipeg, Manitoba had walked off the job.
1919 Greek invasion of Izmir. During the invasion, the Greek army kills or wounds 350 Turks.
1920 Wanganui mayor Charles Mackay shot poet and returned soldier Walter D’Arcy Cresswell who alleged that Mackay had made homosexual overtures to him.
1920 Council of Lithuania adjourned as the newly elected Constituent Assembly of Lithuania met for the first time in Kaunas.
1929 A fire at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio killed 123.
1934 Kārlis Ulmanis established an authoritarian government in Latvia.
1935 The Moscow Metro was opened to public.
1936 Amy Johnson arrived back in England after a record-breaking return flight to Cape Town.
1937 Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, was born.
1940 World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrendered to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation.
1940 – McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
1942 World War II: in the United States, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was signed into law.
1945 World War II: The final skirmish in Europe was fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.
1948 Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invaded the territory partitioned for the Arab state by the British Mandate of Palestine starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
1948 Brian Eno, British musician and record producer, was born.
1951 The Polish cultural attache in Paris, Czesław Miłosz, asked the French government for political asylum.
1953 Mike Oldfield, British composer, was born.
1955 The Austrian Independence Treaty was signed.
1955 – The first ascent of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain.
1957 At Malden Island Britain tested its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple. The device failed to detonate properly.
1958 The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 3.
1960 The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 4.
1962 – Lisa Curry-Kenny, Australian Ironwoman, was born.
1964 – Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, was born.
1969 People’s Park: California Governor Ronald Reagan had an impromptu student park owned by University of California at Berkeley fenced off from student anti-war protestors, sparking a riot called Bloody Thursday.
1970 Philip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green were killed at Jackson State Universit by police during student protests.
1972 The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.
1974 Ma’alot massacre: In an Arabterrorist attack and hostage taking at an Israeli school, 31 people were killed, including 22 schoolchildren.
1987 The Soviet Union launched the Polyus prototype orbital weapons platform. It fails to reach orbit.
1988 Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Red Army began its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
1990 Portrait of Doctor Gachetby Vincent van Gogh was sold for a record $82.5 million, the most expensive painting at the time.
1991 Edith Cresson became France’s first female prime minister.
2008 California became the second U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage after the state’s own Supreme Court ruled a previous ban unconstitutional.
2010 – Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo.
2013 – An upsurge in violence in Iraq left more than 389 people dead over three days.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia