Word of the day

May 19, 2014

Delate – relate or report an offence or crime; inform against or denounce someone; bring a charge against; make known or public.

Would you survive on a desert island?

May 19, 2014

Would you survive on a desert island?

I’d survive:

Congratulations! You know nature and how to survive in it. When you strand on a deserted island you know what to do and go finding water and food. You make fire and make sure you’re save from possible dangerous animals. You can survive a while without getting all crazy but the loneliness gets bigger every day. You probably get saved after a week or 4. You prepared everything: a help sign on the beach and a big fire to get the attention. If you ever strand on a deserted island, don’t worry you’ll survive long enough to be saved.

All very well in theory but I’d rather not be put to the test.


Rural round-up

May 19, 2014

Lake Tekapo not feasible as source of irrigation:

More than $90,000 has been spent on a study showing that taking water from Lake Tekapo for irrigation would be too expensive to be viable.

The 150-page report, released by Environment Canterbury yesterday, examined the economics of transferring water for irrigation from Lake Tekapo, via Burkes Pass to farmland nearer the coast.

The report examined two concepts: a two-cumec (cubic metre per second) year-round transfer to support 11,550 hectares of irrigated land and a 10-cumec seasonal transfer for 25,000ha of irrigated land.

Both proved to be financially unviable, with the second proposal potentially costing between $478 million and $691m to build, with a negative cost-benefit of $1857 per hectare on the scheme.

ECan deputy commissioner David Caygill said the report only examined economic factors. . .

Federated Farmers welcomes return to surplus:

Federated Farmers welcomes the confirmation in today’s Budget of a return to surplus.

“The projected surplus for 2014/15 might be small but if achieved it will be a great milestone resulting from a lot of hard work,” said Federated Farmers’ President Bruce Willis.

“The achievement of a surplus should not be underestimated given the impact firstly of the Global Financial Crisis and then the devastating Canterbury Earthquakes.

“Most importantly for our economy, is to have a surplus combined with continued spending restraint to take the pressure off monetary policy and therefore interest rates and the New Zealand Dollar.

“A surplus also gives us some real choices for the first time in several years, choices which our friends across the Tasman would love to have in the wake of their own Budget.  . . .

Fonterra cleans up at Dairy Industry Association of Australia Awards:

Fonterra Australia has taken home 61 awards from the 2014 Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA) Australian Dairy Product Awards.

Adding to its award collection, Fonterra Australia picked up 12 gold awards for products including Riverina Fresh milk, made in Wagga Wagga; its Tamar Valley no added sugar yoghurt and mild cheddar, made in Stanhope.

Fonterra Operations Manager Chris Diaz said the awards confirm the high-quality of Fonterra products made across our 10 manufacturing facilities. . .

Using beef semen in dairy herds – everyone wins:

The Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) funded Dairy Beef Integration programme is looking at the impact of using quality beef genetics in a dairy-beef supply chain. The work is supported by LIC and Ezicalve Hereford – which, as the name suggests, is a brand name for Herefords that have been selected for ease of calving.

Led by Dr Vicki Burggraaf, the five-year project is now in its third year. “Seventy percent of New Zealand’s beef kill comes from the dairy industry, yet there is limited use of proven beef genetics on dairy farms – despite the fact these genetics have the potential to increase calving ease and produce better animals for beef production.”

Dairy farmers have traditionally shied away from using beef semen, with many believing it would result in more calving problems, compared to using dairy semen. “This project is investigating how accurate this belief is,” Dr Burggraaf says.

“It aims to demonstrate to both dairy farmers and beef farmers that using beef semen with high estimated breeding values for calving ease and growth rates will benefit everyone.” . . .

Australia wool week:

Where better to celebrate wool than in the country synonymous with the world’s finest wool for apparel – Australia. And it wasn’t only fashion retailers which united in the name of this naturally inspiring fibre, interior textile brands also banded together to promote the natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre, all singing to the tune ‘Live naturally, Choose wool’.

Previous years have seen Australia celebrate Wool Week against the backdrop of Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House. This year, celebrations shifted south to Melbourne – another one of Australia’s great cities which is surrounded by prominent woolgrowing properties and an area with strong links to Australia’s wool industry. . .

How to manufacture consent in the Bay of Plenty – Jamie Ball:

Many of the repeated claims by a kiwifruit industry leader about the post-deregulation apple industry “disaster” are wrong and may be giving the kiwifruit industry false hope.

The more recent allegations, made by NZ Kiwifruit Growers Inc (NZKGI) president Neil Trebilco last month and this month to support his case (opposition to deregulation of the kiwifruit industry), used figures on the apple industry that have now been rejected by Pipfruit NZ, Horticultural NZ, Plant & Food Research and Statistics NZ as either nonexistent or wrong.

Although NZKGI is the mandated grower body claiming to represent 2700 kiwifruit growers and is the self-declared “Zespri watchdog,” its primary objective is to protect the single point of entry (Zespri). . .

Fence finder flow chart

May 19, 2014

You need a fence but you’re not sure which one?

Modern Farmer has a flow chart which helps you find the perfect one for your needs:











Hat tip: Quote Unquote




Highest value exports by country

May 19, 2014

Business Insider labelled every country in the world by its highest-valued export, aka the commodity that makes the country the most money in the global market.







If you click on the link you’ll be able to see details, for example Australia’s highest value export is coal and ours is dairy products.

What struck me about the map was how few countries have food or beverage as their highest value export.

Of those, sugar was the highest value export for five.

Will the news that sugar is directly linked to heart disease  impact on them?

A fair go

May 19, 2014

Tax lecturer, blogger and Labour candidate Deborah Russell says we all deserve a fair go:

In New Zealand. . .  Our big shared value is fairness. We think that everyone ought to have a fair go, a fair chance at getting ahead and a fair opportunity to participate in our society. We’ll hear politicians talking about fairness a lot this year in the lead-up to the election.

But what exactly is fairness? . .

Our attitude to tax shows that when New Zealanders talk about fairness they are concerned about outcomes. We can’t make the outcomes identical for everyone but we do try to even out at least some of the biggest differences.

Think of it like this. Imagine three people wanting to look over a fence to see a parade: a short person, a middling person and a tall person. If we find a box of exactly the same size for each of them to stand on, then the short person still can’t see over the fence, and the tall person has a great view. That’s “fair” because we made sure each of them had the same size box — but the short person is left staring at the fence.

Then imagine if we gave two boxes to the short person, and the tall person just stood on the ground. Each person could see the parade because we made sure that we took their individual needs into account. That’s being fair, too.

So which sort of fairness is best? Treating everyone exactly the same or treating people according to their needs? The right of politics prefers people to be treated the same. The left thinks we ought to take some account of individual needs so everyone can get a fair go. . .

Pete George has another story which shows the flaws in this reasoning:

. . . What if there were three people are of similar height?

One got up early, went and cut up a log and made three boxes and stacked them so they could see a parade over a fence.

The second person got up late and stood behind the fence complaining they couldn’t see over it.

The third person came along and took one box of the first person and gave it to the second person. Now they both weren’t high enough to see over the fence. And the third person took the third box for themselves so they could rest their feet on it when they watched their leader’s parade from a balcony. . .

The right doesn’t think people should always be treated the same.

Only those devoid of compassion don’t accept that some people need more help than others.

Where the right and left usually diverge is in the difference between equality of opportunity and outcome.

It is fair for those who have fewer or poorer opportunities to be given a bigger hand up than those who have more and better ones.

What isn’t fair is for people who help themselves to be penalised to help others who could help themselves but don’t.

Who is the real Cunliffe?

May 19, 2014

Michael Fox and Tracy Watkins ask – will the real David Cunliffe please stand up?

That’s the message from experts who claim the Labour leader is failing to connect with the voting public because he’s not being true to himself. . . 

Former TVNZ political commentator turned media trainer Bill Ralston said Cunliffe came across like he “doesn’t know himself”.

“He always appears to be acting. You know, ‘I’m going to be angry now, I’m going to be funny now, I’m going to be serious’. I don’t know what or who the real David Cunliffe is but we haven’t seen him yet. It’s that inauthenticity that’s the issue. He just is not pitching himself as a normal person.” . . .

Could it be that’s because he doesn’t really know who he is?

Like him or loathe him, there’s no doubt who John Key is and what he stands for. The National Party values are his.

But one of the criticisms often thrown at Cunliffe is that he tries to be all things too all people, saying one thing to one audience and something different to another.

It really is difficult to know who he is and what he believes in.

Both leaders came from poor backgrounds and through family support, education and their own efforts have succeeded.

The PM is comfortable with his own success and is passionate about helping others make the best of themselves too.

Cunliffe over states his CV one minute then tries to minimise his wealth and success the next.

Rather than being proud of what he’s achieved he appears to be embarrassed, even ashamed about it. Instead of using his success as a positive example to inspire others as the PM does, Cunliffe tries to pretend he’s like most of his constituents who have considerably less.

He comes across as a man who isn’t comfortable in his own skin and is unsure about what he stands for.

But does he even believe what he’s saying?

Writing about the difference between Cunliffe and David Shearer – when the latter was leader, Rob Hosking observed:

It is just they do not hang together as a coherent programme. Economically, they are contradictory and they will cause more problems than they solve.

And this is the first difference between the two. Mr Cunliffe is economically qualified enough to know they are incoherent and will strain against each other. Mr Shearer has no such knowledge and probably believes what he is saying. . . .

As noted, Mr Cunliffe is economically savvy enough to know all this, and is shameless enough to peddle it to people who do not know any better.

If he’s not comfortable and sure about himself, is it any wonders voters aren’t comfortable with or sure about him either?

How can you believe what someone’s saying if you can’t be sure he believes it himself?



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