32 -30

24/05/2014

Crusaders 32 – Highlanders 30.

Were we robbed?

We were at the game in Dunedin  – and very grateful the Forsyth Barr Stadium has a roof because it’s a very cold night.

The Highlanders spent the last few minutes on attack and – we all thought – scored in the final seconds.

The referee went to the TMO. The crowd cheered as we watched the replay, but alas, the try wasn’t awarded.


Oamaru On Fire

24/05/2014

The annual Steampunk NZ Festival opens in Oamaru this coming Friday, May 30th.

festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Steampunk NZ Festival 2014 is New Zealands largest and longest running steampunk event. 4 days with 18 events and the start of a fringe festival along side it this year. . .

The events are:

Thursday 29th May

Absynth Night

Friday 30th May

Oamaru on Fire,

Brydone Oamaru Fringe Festival Late Night

 

fringe

Saturday 31st May

Souk Market

Cup cake decorating

Dance classes

Writers Workshop

Steampunk Short Stories – with connections to other parts of the planet – technology allowing

Brydone Oamaru Fringe Festival Family Variety Show

Steampunk Racing Mess Dinner

Steampunk Racing and Music Madness

Sunday 1st June

Steam train rides round the Oamaru Harbour.

Steampunk Round the World

Steampunk NZ Fashion Show

Steampunk NZ Gala Dinner

29th May – 2nd June

Throughout the weekend there will be the opportunity to visit Steampunk HQThe Timetravelers Museum and learn to ride a penny farthing and explore the many other galleries and attractions that Oamaru offers, and then see the penguins.

There is more on the Festival’s Facebook page.

Friday night will be lit up by  Oamaru On Fire:

2014’s Oamaru On Fire, steam, sound and lighting spectacular, will step up again this year says organisers Jan Kennedy and Anton Roswell.  “Oamaru On Fire” is a fire, steam, sound, lighting spectacular that successfully showcases Harbour street (in the old part of town Oamaru) in the evening and in winter as an attraction for the entire family from 4 years old to 94 !

t enhances the Steampunk Festival, attracting large numbers of visitors and locals to Oamaru for Queens Birthday weekend.  For the Past 2 years Oamaru On Fire has been incredibly popular with over 2,000 people attending gaining amazing feedback from young and old. 

This years event will feature “Video mapping” a world class projection and lighting focus using the Harbour street Buildings as a stunning Canvas, as well as an innovative visual and performing arts programme and involvement by young local performers.

Internationally renowed “Visual Architects” Out of the Dark will choregraph the lighting and pyrotechnic experience; which includes video projection mapping previously seen on buildings around the world, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME VIDEO MAPPING HAS BEEN USED IN NZ’s south island.  “Oamaru On Fire”

 

fire

 

 


Rural round-up

24/05/2014

NZ’s rural businesses struggle to attract equity capital to develop – Graham Turley:

Agri-business is New Zealand’s most productive and successful business sector yet it struggles to attract investor capital.

It seem counter-intuitive, particularly with all the talk of food bowls for Asia, that a sector which represents more than 25 per cent of New Zealand’s economy is widely perceived as difficult and inaccessible for investment – whether those investors are retail, large fund managers or overseas looking to invest in New Zealand’s agricultural success story.

Few successful agriculture-based businesses are listed on the NZX, especially when you consider how significant a contributor agriculture is to the economy. . .

Mackenzie Country farmer wins top deer award:

Paddy Boyd, manager of Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Country, is the winner of the 2014 Deer Industry Award.

The announcement of the award at the annual Deer Conference in Methven on Wednesday was followed by a sustained standing innovation for a farmer who has been a behind-the-scenes industry leader from the 1970s to the present day.

The award citation listed Paddy’s involvement in numerous industry groups including quality assurance, the Cervena strategy, velveting standards, Tb eradication, genetic improvement and environmental standards. . .

Kiwi team and supporters in charge in Ireland:

Six New Zealand shearers, including World Championships representatives Rowland Smith and John Kirkpatrick, have made it to the semi-finals of the Irish All-Nations Open championships semi-final in Gorey, Ireland.

Smith headed the 18 qualifiers after 70 shearers took part in the open-entry heats on the first day of the 16th Golden Shears World Championships, while Kirkpatrick qualified in third place.

They were separated by Scottish World championships contender Hamish Mitchell, whose teammate and defending World champion Gavin Mutch was a surprise elimination. The All-Nations has no bearing on the World Championship, for which the first round will be held tonight (Friday NZT).

The other New Zealanders still in All-Nations contention are five-times World champion David Fagan and son Jack, and Smith’s brothers, Matt and Doug. . . .

Passenger to be investigated for carrying plants:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating an air passenger it nabbed carrying two concealed plants in her shirt.

Watchman, one of MPI’s most experienced detector dogs, sniffed out the plants on the passenger arriving from China at Auckland airport yesterday afternoon.

The woman had rooted cuttings in a plastic bag hidden in her shirt sleeve and under a coat.

“It appears the cuttings were to be planted and that this was a deliberate attempt to smuggle risk items into New Zealand,” says Craig Hughes, MPI’s Manager, North, Passenger and Mail. . .

Delegat’s says 2014 harvest supports sales growth projections – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – Delegat’s Group, the winemaker which last year bought Australia’s Barossa Valley Estate, said its just completed 2014 harvest will allow it to achieve its forecast future sales growth.

The Auckland-based winemaker expects to increase wine sale volumes by 2 percent to 1.985 million cases in the year ending June 30, accelerating to an 8.8 percent pace in 2015 and 8.9 percent in 2016, according to projections detailed in its 2013 annual report. The 2014 harvest amounted to 35,127 tonnes, as its New Zealand vintage increased 18 percent to 34,123 tonnes. Its Australian harvest, the first vintage since acquisition of Barossa in June last year, amounted to 1,004 tonnes, the company said today.

“The 2014 vintage has delivered excellent quality in all regions,” managing director Graeme Lord said. “The group has appropriate inventories to achieve future sales growth in line with guidance provided in the 2013 annual report.” . . .

Researchers start a wine revolution:

The global wine industry may be on the cusp of a revolution, thanks to pioneering genetic research conducted by scientists at Lincoln University and Plant & Food Research that not only has ramifications for controlling disease and increasing productivity, but will quite likely mean completely new varieties of grapes and styles of wine.

The research project initially commenced to fill a knowledge gap in the identification and function of the genes that underpin the key characteristics of grapevines. The goal was to bed down a research framework, such as those used by researchers with other plant species, to establish a knowledge base for the study of gene behaviour and the critical processes of grape production.

As the research developed, however, new opportunities became apparent, and a greater emphasis was placed on investigating the potential for manufacturing and encouraging the expression of genetic elements within grapevines which may, in turn, come with commercial benefits. . .

Premium Amisfield Wines to Be Showcased At International Event in Venice, Italy:

Celebrated New Zealand wine producer Amisfield will showcase a premium selection of its wines to a select international audience at the prestigious 14th Venice Architecture Biennale.

The specialist producer of multi-award-winning Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines will be the exclusive wine sponsor and supplier to the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) exhibition at the Biennale from June 5 to November 23.

Amisfield wines, sourced from fruit grown on its estate vineyard beneath the Pisa Mountain range in the renowned Central Otago region, will be served during the official opening events and associated events for the duration of the Biennale at the New Zealand exhibition, to be staged in the Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina. . .

Comvita annual profit rises 3.3% as honey price squeezes margin, sees more growth in 2015 – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – Comvita, which produces health products from manuka honey and olive leaves, lifted annual profit 3.3 percent as the rising cost of honey squeezed margins, and said revenue and earnings would grow in 2015.

Net profit rose to $7.6 million, or 24.37 cents per share, in the 12 months ended March 31 from $7.4 million, or 24.52 cents a year earlier, the Te Puke-based company said in a statement. That’s slightly ahead of the $7.5 million profit Comvita signalled earlier this month. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 11 percent to $16.4 million and revenue gained by the same amount to $115.3 million.

“Margins were impacted by the very strong New Zealand dollar and from further sharp rises in the cost of Manuka honey,” the company said. “Because of contractual commitments on pricing in the fast growing China market these costs couldn’t be recovered within the annual time frame.” . . .

New president for Federated Farmers Waikato:

Federated Farmers is thrilled to welcome our new Waikato provincial president, Chris Lewis, who is replacing James Houghton following their provincial AGM.

“Chris has been a part of Federated Farmers for nine years and is well versed on the issues surrounding the Waikato region as well as the dairy industry at a national level,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President.

“I would like to thank outgoing provincial president, James Houghton for his service to the province and Federated Farmers and congratulate him on his role on the Waikato Waipa Stakeholders Group, in continuing the collective conversation around water quality in Waikato.

“We are in a year of change within the Federation with leadership changes throughout the organisation, both nationally and provincially, Chris is an incredibly passionate advocate for the farming community and I know he will do a fantastic job,” said Mr Wills. . .

Shocking Sharemilker compliance revealed:

With just over a week until it closes, Federated Farmers is blowing the whistle on the four-fifths of Sharemilkers who are yet to vote in the 2014 DairyNZ Levy referendum.

“The last time I checked only 20 percent of sharemilkers had voted and that’s a shocker turn out,” says Neil Filer, Federated Farmers Sharemilkers section chairperson.

“It’s like seeing only 100 people physically in Eden Park for the upcoming England test.

“I need to send a rocket to our guys to pull finger and vote. We’re the ones that get the most from the levy as it sets up the best possible industry for us. . . .


Llamas and ice cream

24/05/2014

The Civilian Party is promising llamas for every poor child and free ice cream for everyone.

Free ice-cream, llamas for poor children and tax hikes for the poor are among the policies of the Civilian Party, party leader and political satirist Ben Uffindell says.

Mr Uffindell told The Nation he would lower taxes for the rich and raise them for the poor, because paying less tax encouraged people to be poor “because it’s a financially rewarding position to be in”.

However, the party would give every poverty-stricken child a llama, he said.

“Children in poverty, it’s not their responsibility. They’re not old enough yet to go out and become a CEO … so they need a financial basis with which to start.”

The party had costed $17.7 million for free ice-cream, but it wasn’t a free-for-all for the nation in which each person eats on average 23 litres a year, Mr Uffindell said.

“We’re not saying we’re going to fund every New Zealander’s ice-cream habit, I think that’s untenable. What we’re saying is that every New Zealander has the right to one tub of ice-cream at the expense of the government.” . .

It’s refreshing that one party is planning to do something to help the dairy industry.

The party wants independence from Hamilton as an energy saving measure and is on-track for the 500 members it needs to register.

Based on Civilian Party registrations and the number of people who read the website, the party should get “844,000 votes and will probably be the next government”, he said.

Humour was really important for the election, Mr Uffindell said.

“We all need to laugh and we all need to take ourselves a little bit less seriously and have fun in an environment that is too often too serious and too hostile and that’s why it’s great that the Conservative Party is bringing that in this election.”

You can check out more policy at the Civilian Party’s website.

Saturday’s smiles

24/05/2014

At an Optometrist’s Office:
“If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”
**************************

On a Taxidermist’s window:
“We really know our stuff.”
**************************

On a Fence:
“Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!”
**************************

At a Car Dealership:
“The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.”

*************************
On an electrician’s van:

“Let us remove your shorts.”

**************************

Outside a Car Exhaust Store:
“No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”
**************************

In a Vets waiting room:
“Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”
**************************

In a Restaurant window:
“Don’t stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up.”
**************************

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
“Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”
**************************

And  at a radiator shop:
“Best place in town to take a leak.”
**********************


Tweets can be revealing

24/05/2014

Quote of the day:

. . . It can be terribly revealing. Tweet quality is a measure of impulse control, wit, vanity, originality and much else. It shows us who are the goody-two-shoes, only daring to post on-message, anodyne material, and who has the confidence to engage and have a bit of fun. Steven Joyce, for instance, will sometimes take on a critic – generally without either rancour or mercy. It also gives the belligerent a chance to look ugly.  . . Jane Clifton on Polies in Twitterland


Sabotaging own candidates

24/05/2014

There’s something amiss with Labour’s selection process.

Nominations for the Rangitata seat were opened, closed without anyone applying and re-opened.

Nominations for Invercargill were opened, closed with the previous candidate, and former MP, Lesley Soper applying but reopened when the news the electorate MP, National’s Eric Roy, was retiring. Someone else applied but Soper was selected anyway.

Nominations for Tamaki Makaurau opened some time ago, were held open pending the outcome of TVNZ’s inquiry into Shane Taurima’s use of his work place and resources for political purposes.

Since then the party declined to give Taurima the waiver he needed to get the nomination and now the party is seeking further nominations:

The NZ Council of the Labour Party has resolved to invite further nominations for the Labour candidature in the Tamaki Makaurau seat, with the support of the Tamaki Makaurau Labour Electorate Committee. . .

Further nominations suggests they have already got at least one but, as in Invercargill, aren’t widely enthusiastic about whoever it is.

The seat is held by Pita Sharples who isn’t standing again which, means Labour would have had a better chance of winning it.

However, the Maori Party has already selected its candidate, Rangi McLean, who will have had the best part of a month campaigning before Labour’s candidate is selected.

Once more Labour is giving every appearance of sabotaging its candidate by its inept handling of its selection process.

 


Can’t count, don’t count

24/05/2014

Labour ditched a staff member seconded from Treasury and one of their MPs is already showing she’s in desperate need of someone with some financial literacy:

Jacinda Ardern has yet again shown why New Zealanders do not trust the Labour Party even to read a Budget correctly, let alone write one, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson said today.

Ms Ardern has made numerous incorrect statements about arts funding in Budget 2014, despite these errors being repeatedly pointed out in Parliament and online.

“The supposed ‘cut’ to public broadcasting claimed by Ms Ardern reflects the fact that last year $4.5 million was spent on the Going Digital project, helping the switch over to digital television,” Mr Finlayson said. “That spending is not in the budget this year, because, well, we have Gone Digital.”

“We have in fact allocated extra funding within public broadcasting on new projects, including the maintenance of the TVNZ archives.”

“There is no reduction in heritage spending, as she has claimed. What may have confused Ms Ardern is that heritage now appears in two appropriations, one of which is earmarked for World War One centenary commemorations, a key heritage project. The total is slightly higher than last year.”

“In future, perhaps she should read further down the page before firing off indignant press releases.”

“Funding for regional museums has been maintained throughout the two terms of this government, and remains at its baseline funding of $6.67 million per year,” Mr Finlayson said. “However, last year the appropriation was higher because unspent funds from the previous year had been carried over. This is spelled out in the Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations.”

“This government has revitalised the screen industry, a point she obscures. We saved the production of the Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand from the unions, and have ensured that not only will three Avatar sequels be filmed here but that the production will employ New Zealanders in key roles.”

“This is quite aside from the important recent structural reform of the Arts Council and Heritage New Zealand (formerly the Historic Places Trust), which were ignored by the previous government.”

“National politics is not high school,” Mr Finlayson said. “Jacinda Ardern shouldn’t think professing to care about the arts means she can opt out of  maths.”

 Doing the numbers and getting them right is a basic requirement for analysing policy – her own and those she opposes.

Lots of Labour policies don’t add up and that will only get worse if the party doesn’t have someone capable of doing the numbers.

However, Labour isn’t the only party to have failed to understand the Budget numbers, Green MP Holly Walker made the same mistake Ardern did:

If opposition MPs keep showing they can’t count they’ll make it easier for voters to show they don’t count in the election.


Saturday soapbox

24/05/2014

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.

Spiritual Chocoholics's photo.


May 24 in history

24/05/2014

15 BC  Germanicus Julius Caesar, Roman commander, was born (d. 19).

1218 The Fifth Crusade left Acre for Egypt.

1276  Magnus Ladulås was crowned King of Sweden in Uppsala Cathedral.

1487  Lambert Simnel was crowned as “King Edward VI” at Dublin.

1595  Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appeared, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.

1621  The Protestant Union was formally dissolved.

1626  Peter Minuit bought Manhattan.

1689  The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants.

1738  John Wesley was converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day.

1798 Irish Rebellion of 1798 led by the United Irishmen against British rule began.

1819 Queen Victoria was born (d. 1901).

1822  Battle of Pichincha: Antonio José de Sucre secured the independence of the Presidency of Quito.

1830  ”Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale was published.

1830  The first revenue trains in the United States began service on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Baltimore, Maryland and Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland.

1832  The First Kingdom of Greece was declared in the London Conference.

1844  Samuel F. B. Morse sent the message “What hath God wrought” (a Bible quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland.

1846 Mexican-American War: General Zachary Taylor captured Monterrey.

1854 New Zealand’s parliament sat for the first time in Auckland, with 37 MPs.

Parliament's first sitting in Auckland

1856  John Brown and his men murdered five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas.

1861 American Civil War: Union troop occupied Alexandria, Virginia.

1870 Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa, was born (d. 1950).

1883 The Brooklyn Bridge  was opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.

1887 Edward “Mick” Mannock, Irish WWI flying ace was born (d. 1918).

1895  Henry Irving became the first person from the theatre to be knighted.

1900 Second Boer War: The United Kingdom annexed the Orange Free State.

1901  Seventy-eight miners died in the Caerphilly pit disaster in South Wales.

1915  World War I: Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1921  The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti opened.

1930  Amy Johnson landed in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia.

1935  The first night game in Major League Baseball history was played in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Crosley Field.

1940  Igor Sikorsky performed the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.

1941 Bob Dylan, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1941  World War II: In the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Battleship Bismarck sank the then pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, killing all but three crewmen.

1943 – Turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic  – Germany’s Admiral Dönitz, alarmed at the heavy losses inflicted by increasingly strong Allied escort forces (a total of 41 U-boats were sunk that month), ordered the temporary withdrawal of U-boat ‘wolf packs’ from the North Atlantic.

1943  Josef Mengele became chief medical officer of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

1945 Priscilla Presley, American actress, was born.

1956 Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha’s Parinibbāna.

1956 The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland.

1958 United Press International was formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.

1960 Kristin Scott Thomas, English actress, was born.

1960 Guy Fletcher, British keyboardist (Dire Straits), was born.

1960  Cordón Caulle began to erupt.

1961  American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for “disturbing the peace” after disembarking from their bus.

1961  Cyprus entered the Council of Europe.

1962 Project Mercury: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.

1967  Egypt imposed a blockade and siege of the Red Sea coast of Israel.

1968 FLQ separatists bombed the U.S. consulate in Quebec City.

1970  The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole began in the Soviet Union.

1973  Earl Jellicoe resigned as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the Lords.

1976  The London to Washington, D.C. Concorde service began.

1980  The International Court of Justice called for the release of United States embassy hostagesin Tehran.

1982  Liberation of Khorramshahr, Iranians recapture of the port city of Khorramshahr from the Iraqis during the Iran–Iraq War.

1988  Section 28 of the United Kingdom’s Local Government Act of 1988, a controversial amendment stating that a local authority cannot intentionally promote homosexuality, was enacted.

1989 Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of the Yorkshire Ripper, was awarded  £600,000 in damages (later reduced to £60,000 on appeal) after winning a libel action against Private Eye.

1990  A car carrying American Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney exploded in Oakland, California, critically injuring both.

1991  Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia.

1991  Israel conducted Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

1992 The last Thai dictator,  General Suchinda Kraprayoon, resigned following pro-democracy protests.

1994  Four men convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.

2000  Israeli troops withdrew from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.

2001 Fifteen-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri became  the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

2001  The Versailles wedding hall disaster in Jerusalem, killed 23 and injured over 200 in Israel’s worst-ever civil disaster.

2002  Russia and the United States signed the Moscow Treaty.

2004  North Korea banned mobile phones.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


%d bloggers like this: