Shane Jones’ valedictory

21/05/2014

Shane Jones is delivering his valedictory to a packed gallery.

You can see where to watch it here.

Radio New Zealand broadcasts the House in session live on the AM Network:

 

Radio New Zealand region Channel
Auckland AM 882 Khz
Waikato AM 1494 Khz
Bay of Plenty AM 657 Khz
Napier AM 909 Khz
Wellington AM 657 Khz
Christchurch AM 963 Khz
Dunedin AM 900 Khz
Southland AM 1314 Khz

 

https://twitter.com/CJTremain/status/468986907628933120

 

 

 

 

 

 


Word of the day

21/05/2014

Wonted – habitual, usual.


Petition gives wrong impression

21/05/2014

When I saw a Facebook post asking people to sing Labour’s petition to save the Poison Helpline I thought it was being axed.

That is no doubt the impression Labour wants to give, but it’s not the right one.

The Ministry of Health, which funds the service isn’t planning to axe it, it is proposing merging it with a range of other triage, advice, counselling and referral services.

This integrated service will provide consistent, high quality advice across the country sign posting callers to appropriate services and care.

The service will provide a multi-channel approach including telephone triage and phone advice; text; email; phone applications; social media and web-based services. The enhanced telehealth service is expected to:

  • reduce the pressure on after hours primary care (ie ambulance services, doctors and emergency departments making good use of local health and injury services across the country)
  • be integrated to improve effectiveness in the development, monitoring and advertising of these services.

Services are currently delivered by a mix of commercial, university, and non-government organisations that together handle around 2 million calls by the public per year. The included services are: Healthline, Quitline, Poisonline, Immunisation advice for the public, Alcohol and drug helpline, Depression helplines and Gambling Helpline. . . .

Having one number to call would make it easier for people to the right help sooner, rather than ringing one, finding it’s not the right one and having to call another.

For example people might call  Healthline now instead of the Poisonline and even a very few minutes delay in getting the right advice could have very serious consequences.

A single number might make it easier for people who feel embarrassed about calling a drug or alcohol helpline too.

If the triaging under the new system works well, people will get the right help and get it sooner.

Instead of no service which the petition suggests, the merger should provide better service.


Rural round-up

21/05/2014

Finding alternatives to dairy – Keith Woodford:

New Zealand dairy production has increased by 80% since Year 2000. This has come almost equally from both more dairy hectares and more production per hectare. However, the limits to pastoral dairying in New Zealand have largely been reached. Where do we go from here?

First, there is a need to recognise the two reasons why pastoral dairying has largely reached its limits.

The most important reason is that society is no longer willing to accept the effects of cow urine leaching from pastures into waterways and aquifers. Huge progress has been made in fencing off livestock from waterways, and in tree planting alongside the streams, but that does not solve the problem of the urine patch. This 2013/14 year is therefore the last year of large-scale conversion of sheep and beef farms to pastoral dairying. New environmental regulations have effectively closed that door. . . .

Nominations & entries open for South Island Farmer of the Year:

Nominations and entries are open for the 2014 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition, and organisers are hoping for another record year.

“Last year we had entries from throughout the South Island, the quality of which were such that we were obliged to select six finalists instead of the usual four,” says Lincoln University Foundation Chair Ben Todhunter. “This, plus the very successful winner’s field day at Yealands Wine Estate, generated a lot of interest.

Todhunter says that one of the attractions of the competition is that size really doesn’t matter and is not one of the criteria for judging.

“We’re looking for leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, which can be found equally in a small family-owned farm business as they can within a large commercial agricultural entity. . . .

Central South too wet to drill:

CROPPING FARMERS in Canterbury and North Otago face a soggy battle to get winter cereals sown after another belt of rain swept the region this week.

Paddocks had only just become passable after an unusually wet April and now some fear they will not get back on again until spring. Where crops have been sown agronomists say slugs are having a field day.

“Slug pellet use has gone through the roof,” Mid Canterbury agronomist Roger Lasham told Rural News.
“Where people have gone on with pellets before any damage has been done it’s not too bad but if they’re late they’ll never get those plants back.”  . . .

Fresh look for Fieldays partnership:

A mutual interest in contributing to – and growing – New Zealand’s agricultural sector is behind an enduring strategic partnership between two iconic regional organisations.

The University of Waikato is into its eighth year as a strategic partner of the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek and Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says it is an important partnership for both organisations.

“The University has a shared interest with Fieldays in the agricultural sector, from our research which we will be showcasing on our stand, to our students who undertake internships with many agricultural organisations and our graduates who are employed in the agricultural sector,” he says.

The University and the New Zealand National Fieldays Society signed their latest strategic partnership in March and Fieldays Chief Executive Jon Calder says the relationship has developed well over the years “to the point where we now have a true partnership”. . .

Deal to develop wine tourism:

New Zealand Winegrowers and Air New Zealand have signed a deal which will see them jointly promote the country as a destination for wine tourists.

They believe that more than a million visitors have toured the country’s vineyards and wineries over the last five years and the sector has tremendous opportunity for future growth.

Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said the North American and Asian markets will be targetted in the promotion. . .

Giesen single vineyard first release wins international recognition:

Giesen Wines has won international plaudits with its first release of premium single vineyard wines from Marlborough.

Three different single vineyard selections have won gold at two prestigious UK competitions. The Brookby Rd Pinor Noir 2012 and Clayvin Pinot Noir 2012 were awarded gold in the coveted Decanter competition while Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay 2012 captured gold at the International Wine Challenge (IWC).

Theo Giesen, of Giesen Wines, says this is the first time its wines have been awarded gold at either of the UK competitions. . . .


Civilian Party goes live

21/05/2014

The Civilian Party is now live:

borderedadstroketest 

 

 

 

 

 

. . .  The Civilian Party is a real political party, but it is not a political party like any you have seen before. It is not a left-wing party or a right-wing party. It is neither left-of-centre, nor right-of-centre. The Civilian Party is up-of-centre, because we believe in moving upwards toward a brighter future, like a moth to a flame. We don’t want to move the country sideways; we want to move it forward. . . .

 It’s policies include:

Declare New Zealand’s independence from Hamilton. (Read more)

Establish a space program, and become the first nation in Australasia to send a man to the moon; not to explore it, just someone we don’t like.

Reform the tax system so that it rewards success and punishes failure. Ensure that the bulk of taxes are aimed at the greatest source of poverty in New Zealand: the poor. (Read more)

Remove the monarchy and become an independent banana republic. (Read more)

Close the pay gap between men and women by working to reduce men’s wages.

Alleviate poverty amongst children by giving every poverty-stricken child a llama as a means to a basic income.

End discrimination against social majorities. No more special services just for Maori; no more car parks just for disabled people; no more hip operations just for people who need hip operations.

Relegalise illegal legal highs. The recent government crackdown on these products was overzealous, and there is no reason that perfectly legal substances should be illegal. (Read more)

Make Wellington airport safer by moving it to Christchurch. . . .

If the Mcgillicuddy Serious Party still exists it has a rival, if it doesn’t it has a successor.


Dust

21/05/2014

A farmer’s daughter is singing for Aussie farmers:

HESTER Fraser may have been too young to remember the drought in the ‘90s but she does remember how special it felt when it rained.

And while the 25-year-old musician, currently living in Sydney, felt half the world away from her family’s farm at Armidale, seeing photos of the drought spurred her into action.

Hester is a pianist, singer/songwriter, and performing under the name Goldheist she’s written song “Dust” to raise awareness of drought and the plight of farmers but also money for drought appeals.

“I knew it (the drought) was bad but it was overwhelming when you realise the scale of what it means to live through it,” Hester said.

“The manual labour that goes into keeping stock alive – I hadn’t understood the financial cost.

“I wanted to write about the issues but I also wanted to create a message of support.”

Hester said she was further inspired when she saw the work of volunteer group Aussie Helpers, who deliver hay and visit farmers in need.

“The most powerful thing Aussie Helpers do is help farmers realise they’re not forgotten,” she said. . . .


SNAs set traps for farmers

21/05/2014

Farmers who’ve allowed wetlands to be surveyed are upset they face restrictions less conservation-minded landowners don’t.

Conservation-minded farmers are annoyed about being penalised by agreeing to wetlands and other natural assets being surveyed, when other Hurunui farmers don’t have rulemakers coming down hard on them.

Members of the Hurunui SNA Group says the Resource Management Act (RMA) disadvantages them, and the group is urging farmers to not allow any more surveys on private land, trapping them in the RMA system, until the legislation is changed.

The group’s farmers say they have to apply for resource consent to fertilise around listed Significant Natural Areas (SNA), when non-surveyed landowners are free of these requirements.

Interested farm buyers have shied away from at least one farm because of its SNAs, and other farmers are worried that this will lower their own land values.

Group spokesman Jamie McFadden said landowners had chosen to leave and care for native bush on their land when they could have easily cleared it.

“These landowners feel aggrieved and angry that seemingly because of their generosity in protecting native bush on their land, they are then trapped in a compulsory regulatory system that does nothing to help them continue to look after these areas.”

McFadden is a Hurunui farm- raised landscaper specialising in planting native plants on farms.

He said QEII Trust covenanting was a much better system, as landowners agreed to conditions that could not be changed without their agreement, and the trust helped with fencing and weed control.

“With the RMA-SNA regulatory system, landowners have no choice, there is no flexibility on rules – one size fits all – and the rules can change at any time, even without the landowner’s knowledge or approval.”

McFadden said that when landowners worked with the Hurunui District Council on a biodiversity strategy for the district, they never expected that Environment Canterbury could come over the top and apply its rules to SNAs on private land, such as not applying fertiliser within 10 metres of listed natural assets.

The regulations were counterproductive, because native shrubs and trees were being cleared by landowners unwilling to be caught in the system or by future rules, he said. . .

When farmers see registering SNAs have this perverse outcome it puts them off doing the right thing and it’s not just with bush and wetlands.

A farming couple had a request from a student who wanted to look for evidence of a rare insect species on their property.

They were happy to do so until neighbours warned them not to.

They’d allowed a student to do something similar on their farm then had restrictions placed on what they could do as a result of what was found.

When conservation conflicts with property rights it’s the latter which comes second and landowners pay a high price which puts them off  trying to be conservation and community minded.


Irrigation long-term investment

21/05/2014

Ngai Tahu has withdrawn as a potential investor in the $275 million Ruataniwha water storage scheme in Hawke’s Bay.

Ngai Tahu said it had a series of criteria that needed to be met for continued investment, including the right investment partner with the appropriate experience.

Electricity firm TrustPower, which has a lot of experience with dam storage and irrigation, withdrew from the investment in March. It said the project did not stack up with the level of returns the company required from new investments. . . .

Irrigation is a long-term investment.

It requires a lot of money up-front,. It’s years before it returns any dividends and many of those are indirect through the environmental, financial and social benefits that come from it.

Ngai Tahu’s decision will be a blow to the scheme’s proponents but it doesn’t have to be a killing one.

Finding more, smaller investors will require more work, but with the backing of farmers, the regional council and the government through the Crown Irrigation Fund, and others who understand the value it will bring to the province it could still go ahead.

 


GDT down for 6th auction in row

21/05/2014

The GolabalDairyPrice Index fell 1.8% in this morning’s auction, the sixth drop in a row.

 

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gdt21.5

 


English: Govt shouldn’t be business risk

21/05/2014

Finance Minister Bill English gets it – the government shouldn’t be one of the risks businesses have to manage:

. . . “Governments need to create an environment of stability and good incentives for [businesses] to grow the economy. Businesses need confidence the rules will not shift and the Government is not one of the risks they have to manage,” English said.

It was also important for the Government to run a counter-cyclical fiscal policy which, right now, meant running surpluses, paying down debt, and limiting future initiatives in spending and tax cuts to what would not push interest rates higher than they need be.

Keeping a rein on its own spending is a far better government strategy for keeping pressure off interest rates than meddling with the Reserve Bank Act and Kiwisaver payments which Labour is proposing.

What had driven mortgage rates over 10 per cent on the eve of the last recession was the combination of runaway government spending and runaway house prices.

There was no single answer to “ridiculously expensive” house prices, he said, especially as councils made many of the decisions about land availability and other regulatory imposts.

“They need to understand that decisions planners in Auckland make about the minimum size of balconies will affect returns to a cray fisherman off Fiordland.” . . .

Steep increases in property prices are primarily a function of supply not keeping up with demand.

Council policies and nit-picky actions by planners over minor details slow new builds.

The housing price issue isn’t a national one.

The problem is mostly an Auckland and Christchurch one but by putting pressure on interest rates it affects the whole of the country.

Council there have a big role to play in solving that by making it much easier to increase the supply.

Meanwhile the government must continue to play its part by keeping a tight rein on its spending.


May 21 in history

21/05/2014

878  Syracuse, Italy was captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily.

879 Pope John VIII gave blessings to Duke Branimir and to Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of Croatian state.

996 Sixteen-year-old Otto III was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

1502  The island of Saint Helena was discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova.

1527 King Philip II of Spain was born (d. 1598).

1554 A royal Charter was granted to Derby School.

1674  The nobility elect ed John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.

1688  Alexander Pope, English poet, was born  (d. 1744).

1725 The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky was instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I.

1758 Mary Campbell was abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War.

1780 Elizabeth Fry, British social reformer, was born (d. 1845).

1809 The first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling between the Austrian army led by Archduke Charles and the French army led by Napoleon I of France.

1840 Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson proclaimed sovereignty over all of New Zealand: over the North Island on the basis of cession by the Treaty of Waitangi and the southern islands by right of discovery.

Hobson proclaims sovereignty over NZ

1851  Slavery was abolished in Colombia.

1856  Lawrence, Kansas was captured and burned by pro-slavery forces.

1863  American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson – Union forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.

1864 Russia declared an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians were forced into exile. The day is designated the Circassian Day of Mourning.

1871  French troops invaded the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting. By the close of “Bloody Week” some 20,000 communards have been killed and 38,000 arrested.

1871  Opening of the first rack railway in Europe, the Rigi-Bahnen on Mount Rigi.

1879  War of the Pacific: Two Chilean ships blocking the harbor of Iquique (then belonging to Peru) battled two Peruvian vessels in the Battle of Iquique.

1881  The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton.

1894  The Manchester Ship Canal in England was officially opened by Queen Victoria, who knighted its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.

1904 Fats Waller, American pianist, was born  (d. 1943).

1904 The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris.

1907 John C. Allen, American roller coaster designer, was born  (d. 1979).

1916 – Harold Robbins, American novelist (d. 1997).

1917 Raymond Burr, Canadian actor (d. 1993).

1917  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established through Royal Charter to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military forces.

1917  The Great Atlanta fire of 1917.

1924  Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a “thrill killing”.

1927 Charles Lindbergh touched down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

1930 Malcolm Fraser, 22nd Prime Minsiter of Australia, was born.

1932 Bad weather forced Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becme the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

1934 Oskaloosa, Iowa, became the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.

1936 Sada Abe was arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover’s severed genitals in her hand.

1937  A Soviet station became the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.

1939 The National War Memorial (Canada) was unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa.

1941 Ronald Isley, American singer (The Isley Brothers), was born.

1943 Hilton Valentine, British guitarist (The Animals), was born.

1944  Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, was born.

1946 Physicist Louis Slotin was fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1948 – Leo Sayer, English musician, was born.

1951 The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition – a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School.

1952 Mr. T, American actor, was born.

1958 United Kingdom Postmaster General Ernest Marples announced that from December,  subscriber trunk dialling will be introduced in the Bristol area.

1961  American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declared martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.

1966 The Ulster Volunteer Force declared  war on the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.

1969 Civil unrest in Rosario, Argentina, known as Rosariazo, following the death of a 15-year-old student.

1972  Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica was damaged by a vandal,  Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth.

1979 White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.

1981 Irish Republican hunger strikers Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara died on hunger strike in Maze prison.

1990  Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agreed to a unity, merging into Republic of Yemen.

1991  Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber near Madras.

1991  Mengistu Haile Mariam, president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,  fled Ethiopia, effectively bringing the Ethiopian Civil War to an end.

1994 Democratic Republic of Yemen unsuccessful attempts to secede from Republic of Yemen, war breaks out.

1996  The MV Bukoba sank in Tanzanian waters on Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1000.

1996  The Trappist Martyrs of Atlas were executed.

1998  In Miami, Florida, five abortion clinics were hit by a butyric acid attacker.

1998   Suharto, Indonesian president of 32 years, resigns.

2001  French Taubira law officially recognised the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.

2003  An earthquake hit northern Algeria killing more than 2,000 people.

2004  Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbed Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu’s record from the previous year.

2006  The Republic of Montenegro held a referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The Montenegrin people choose independence with a majority of 55%.

2006  The Swedish ice hockey team Tre Kronor took gold in the World Championship, becoming the first nation to hold both the World and Olympic titles separately in the same year.

2007  The clipper Cutty Sark was badly damaged by fire.

2010 – JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launched the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket.

2012 – In Qafa e Vishës bus tragedy near Himara, Albania 13 students of Aleksandër Xhuvani University were killed in bus crash.

2012 – A suicide bombing killed more than 120 people in Sana’a, Yemen.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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