Murrain – a plague, pestilence, dire disease, epidemic, or crop blight; an infectious disease affecting cattle or other animals.
The application by Riverstone Holdings Limited to build and operate a $240 million monorail in Fiordland has been declined by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.
“This proposal does not stand up either economically or environmentally. The independent tourism and financial analysis concluded it was not viable. There would be a significant impact on the area’s flora, fauna and natural heritage. The route is not sufficiently defined to properly assess the impacts,” Dr Smith says.
“Developments in an area with World Heritage status and which impact on the Fiordland National Park must meet the highest of standards and I have concluded that the risks of this proposal are too great.”
The Fiordland Link Experience proposed a new link between Queenstown and Milford Sound consisting of a 20-kilometre boat excursion across Lake Wakatipu to Mt Nicholas Station, a 45-kilometre all-terrain vehicle ride to Kiwi Burn, a 43.8-kilometre monorail ride to Te Anau Downs and a 90-kilometre coach journey to Milford Sound. The application included a lease, licence and concession for the monorail and related infrastructure through the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area including the Snowdon Forest and Fiordland National Park.
“This monorail had more merit than the Milford Tunnel proposal and has been a more difficult decision to make. The process has taken some time because I have wanted to consider it very carefully. I have visited the site twice, met its applicants twice, consulted with the New Zealand Conservation Authority, and spent days reading the relevant reports and responses from the applicants. I appreciate my decision will come as a major disappointment to Riverstone Holdings,” Dr Smith says.
“I do not want this decision interpreted as the Government and the Department of Conservation (DOC) being opposed to any proposal for alternative access options in Fiordland. The strategic issue of facilitating better transport options between Queenstown and Milford remains. The door is still open but proposals will need to be both environmentally sustainable and economically viable.
“This conservative decision reflects the cautious approach I have to developments in Fiordland. This World Heritage Area has some of New Zealand’s most highly valued and spectacular landscapes that require I err on the side of nature.”
This was obviously a very difficult decision.
The developers and others who saw the business opportunities will be disappointed.
Those who were concerned about the impact on the conservation values of a wilderness area will be delighted.
Speech to the B3 Better Border Biosecurity Conference – Nathan Guy:
Thank you to Better Border Biosecurity (B3) for hosting this important conference. The theme is “10 years on – Adding Value to New Zealand’s Plant Biosecurity System through Research”.
Today I want to talk to you about the importance of biosecurity to New Zealand, and the importance of scientific research to back it up.
I want to start by acknowledging the B3 partnership as a great model for working together on research.
The signed up partners include four Crown Research Institutes (CRI), a university based research entity, three government agencies, and an industry group. It’s important that it involves end-users from both government and industry.
The importance of biosecurity
Everyone here has probably heard me say many times that “biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister.” Today I want to say a few words to remind why that is, and why this agreement today is so important.
The primary sector is the powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy, accounting for over 70 percent of our export earnings.
It helps pay the bills for our schools, hospitals and social services, and supports many jobs in our regions and cities. . .
ANZ Bank economist Con Williams says many people are overlooking the huge improvements in productivity dairy farmers have achieved recently.
Fonterra on Wednesday set next season’s initial forecast farmgate milk price at $7 per kilo of milk solids, which was higher than some had expected.
However, the dairy giant has cut this season’s forecast payout by 25 cents to $8.40 per kilo of milk solids. That would reduce farmers’ incomes by nearly $400 million but Mr said it represented just a little less cream from what was still a record payout.
The average annual yield per cow was close to 381kg of milk solids – a new record and about 7.5 percent ahead of trend. . .
NIWA gets down to brass tacks with farmers – Tony Benny:
National Fieldays seminar host Niwa is taking its science directly to farmers to optimise water use and lessen the negative impacts of dairy effluent.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research’s chief scientist, environmental information, Jochen Schmidt, said the organisation has moved its focus to the one-on-one farmer level gradually over the past five years.
“This is definitely an area that we’re strategically pushing at the moment. The minister [Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce] is our shareholder and that’s what he told us because the growth agenda is out there and we want to ensure our primary sector is growing while sustainably managing the environment. . .
DairyNZ is running 19 StockSense events in June and July to help farmers prepare for the calving season.
The events are split into two workshops – one for junior staff and one for senior staff – with each workshop focusing on developing skills to help the calving season go well and reduce stress.
Humane slaughter on-farm and udder health will be the focus of the senior level workshop.
DairyNZ’s animal husbandry and welfare team manager, Chris Leach, says the humane slaughter topic is particularly timely due to the expected change in the animal welfare code and the implications for farmers.
“Farmers need to understand what’s expected of them,” says Chris.
The senior workshop will also focus on actions owners and managers can take to reduce stress for themselves and their teams, to help calving go smoothly.
“The workshop will provide tips and tricks to stay healthy during the busy period. Being prepared and staying healthy eases stress and will make for an easier spring,” says Chris. . .
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the findings of an independent report into the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), which estimates it will add $6.4 billion per annum to New Zealand’s economy by 2025.
“The NZIER report further concludes that the PGP has the potential to achieve an additional $4.7 billion per annum by 2025 if all the R&D is successful, the aspirational stretch of PGP programmes is achieved, and the innovations are widely uptaken.
“This would add up to $11.1 billion per annum to New Zealand’s economy by 2025.
“The PGP is about supporting innovation in the primary industries, which are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy – accounting for over 70% of our merchandise exports. There are currently 18 announced programmes jointly funded by industry and government.” . .
Ballyhooley Beef has done it again – winning best retail brand with the Murray Grey meat at the Steak of Origin competition last week in Feilding.
But this year, Winton farmer Barry Macdonald and his beef have done one better, as his steak was chosen as the tastiest by the public, also winning the people’s choice award.
In what was a first for the competition, Mr Macdonald’s steak was put up against the other 19 finalists to see which the public liked best. . .
2013 winner a bachelor no more – Sonita Chandar:
Sorry ladies, it’s official – 2013 Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year Simon Washer is now spoken for.
However, a whole new group of eligible young men are set to strut their stuff at the NZ National Agricultural Fieldays in June.
Washer only entered the competition by default as his fellow members of the local young farmers’ club balked at the idea of entering.
“I was the chairman of the club at the time the entry form came through and when I asked the guys if anyone was interested in entering, they all gave me a dirty look, pointed the finger at me and then nominated me so I didn’t really have much of a choice. . . .
1. Who said: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ?
2. What is an Ailurophile?
3. Where would you find the glabella?
4. What would you do with a froe.
5. What is an aquaggaswack?
(In case you haven’t noticed there is no deliberate theme this week, although I’ll give a bonus to anyone who can find one).
Budget 2014 has the books back in black – but why do the numbers matter?
The numbers matter because only when they are positive can a government afford policies to help people that will be sustainable.
The opposition fought National’s tax cuts tooth and nail and keep saying they help the rich and hurt the poor.
New data indicates New Zealand’s income tax and support system continues to provide significant income redistribution, with households earning more than $150,000 a year forecast to pay 74 per cent of net income tax in 2014/15, compared with 58 per cent in 2008/09.
“Four years after the Government’s comprehensive tax reforms, latest data confirms that New Zealand’s income tax and support system significantly redistribute incomes to households in need,” Finance Minister Bill English says.
“It is now clear that higher income households are paying a larger share of income tax than they were in 2008.”
“As I’ve said previously, the Government has maintained a redistributive income tax and income support system that supports low and middle income families and helps New Zealanders through times of need. So at any particular time, a large number of households effectively don’t pay income tax,” Mr English says.
“The amount these households pay in income tax is exceeded by the amount they receive from welfare benefits, Working for Families, paid parental leave and accommodation subsidies. That’s entirely appropriate for those families genuinely in need.”
Using data from the Household Economic Survey, Treasury has updated information provided last year to include forecasts for the 2014/15 tax year.
The Treasury estimates that this year households earning over $150,000 a year – the top 15 per cent of households by income – will pay 49 per cent of income tax.
But when benefit payments, Working for Families, paid parental leave and accommodation support are taken into account, these 15 per cent of households are expected to pay 74 per cent of the net income tax. And that is before New Zealand Superannuation payments are counted.
It also excludes the impact of other aspects of the tax changes in 2010, including tightening property tax rules and compliance, and increasing GST.
By contrast, households earning under $60,000 a year – which is just under half of all households – are expected to pay 9 per cent of income tax.
“When we take income support payments into account, as a group they will actually pay no net income tax at all,” Mr English says.
“That’s because the $2.5 billion of income tax they are expected to pay will be more than offset by the $7.3 billion they will receive in income support.
“It’s appropriate to maintain a tax and income support system that helps low and middle income households when they most need it.
“But people who call for even greater transfers to low income families, or who call for the top tax rate to be raised, need to be aware of how redistributive the tax and income support system already is,” Mr English says.
“This also highlights the importance of Government policies to support people out of welfare and into work.”
The left’s answer to many problems is to throw more money at them.
That’s other people’s money and their favourite source of that is the wealthy who, they say, should pay more tax.
These figures show the wealthy are already paying most income tax, families on lower income are paying no net income tax and households on less than $60,000 are paying just 9%.
The NBR says she joined the Green Party only 18 months ago and worked as its “issues director” in Auckland. . .
Reusing or recycling an ex-MP could fit the green, but not necessarily the Green, credo.
Whether or not it helps the IM Party gain votes is moot but it will split opposition votes by giving those wanting a more socialist approach another option.
However it’s not likely to help the party appeal to the young tech-savvy non-voters. And yet another hard-left unionist on the red part of the spectrum could also persuade voters in the centre towards the blue end.
The idea of a weak Labour propped up by the Green, NZ First and Internet Mana parties will make a National-led government more attractive to moderates.
Bryce Edwards at Liberation has the top tweets on the issue which include:
Laila Harre first entered Parliament in 1996. Incidentally, people born that year will be able to vote for the first time this year.
And I’m sure knowing the Internet Party leader was first an MP in the year of their birth will be a voter drawcard #rtpt
Um … so the new leader of the Internet Party @lailaharre has made like 27 tweets. Has she really got the quals for this?
Interesting conflict. I bet people who wouldn’t consider voting for Mana or the Internet Party *would* consider voting for Laila Harre.
Seriously tho, what does it say about the NZ left that the old guard is being hauled out of retirement, while the right is appointing yoofs?
Which paper will be first with “Harrewira”?
Mana has absolutely pulled a fast one on the #Internetparty ! Gets all thier funding, dominates the list & have installed a plant as leader!
i’m betting the Greens are wishing that Dotcom had been extradicted about now.
Internet Party also announcing tomorrow that their campaign manager will be Simon Lusk.
Laila Harre doesn’t say “Internet” to me, but she might get more votes for a very left-wing party than Mana’s existing candidates
I’d love to know what Harre feels she can get advancing leftist causes via Mana/IP that she felt she couldn’t achieve with the Greens
Laila Harre’s loan from Greens to Mana-Internet Party a sign that planning for Lab-Grn-NZF-Mana-Internet coalition is well advanced?
If Metiria Turei doesn’t back down, that means 5 deputy PMs for David Cunliffe. Six if he can’t convince caucus to bypass @grantrobertson1
So will Jim Anderton be kinda like an Internet-Mana Obi-Wan Kenobi now?
If Laila can be the Leader of the Internet Party as she has used the Internet, I think I should be the Leader of the Greens as I eat them
Every waka jumper and MMP rorter ever is having a crack at the Harre-Dotcom alliance.
Surprised Dotcom didn’t draft Ahmed Zaoui as Leader. That guy knows how to get anti-extradition results #nzpol
Hone, Harre, Sykes and Minto – can John Key be having a better month than this one?
Was really expecting someone with, you know, experience and knowledge in the tech sector.
Laila Harre joins the Aotearoa Legalise Copyright Infringement Party #nzpol
So the left is assembling a team of washed up 1990’s egos to contest the election. Lets be kind and call them the ‘Social Justice League
You can’t put Sue Bradford Lite at the head of a Party & make people forget the founder is a neo-liberal DJ version of Mr Burns.
So… Green Internet Mana Party (GIMP) alliance?
Laila Harre under the command and control of the millionaire German convicted fraudster. The left just gets funnier every day.
Laila Harre is great but the whole stitch up undermines the concept of the Maori seats and marks the beginning of the end of their existence
” Why, why, why the Laila? “
Wow, Laila harre. Really? I bet Sue Bradford is feeling a little stupid now.
In 2002 the Alliance was beaten by the Outdoor Recreation Party #facts
The Greens really let that possible candidate slip through their fingers.
The Greens will be absolutely livid about Laila Harre as Internet Party leader. This will be very damaging for their party vote.
If it is Laila Harre, bit rude of @KimDotcom not to be following her on Twitter. (The Internet Party and Vikram Kumar both are)
Laila Harre? This story just gets more bizarre as the days go along
I guess Hone and Kim will be hoping Laila does better than she did against Lynne Pillay. #nzpol
I wonder what portfolio Laila Harre would be after in Cabinet this time.
@bryce_edwards Minister of All the Parties.
3 News understands Laila Harre to lead Internet Party – her fifth political party
@ChrisKeall What did she say when you asked her for comment?
To which I add: if Harre is the answer, what was the question?
363 Roman Emperor Julian defeated the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but was unable to take the city.
1167 Battle of Monte Porzio – A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III was defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel.
1176 Battle of Legnano: The Lombard League defeated Emperor Frederick I.
1630 Charles II of England was born (d. 1685).
1414 Council of Constance.
1660 English Restoration: Charles II (on his birthday) was restored to the throne of Great Britain.
1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation established peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives.
1727 Peter II became Tsar of Russia.
1733 The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves was upheld.
1780 American Revolutionary War: At the Battle of Waxhaws Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton massacred Colonel Abraham Buford’s continentals.
1874 G. K. Chesterton, English novelist, was born (d. 1936).
1903 Bob Hope, British-born comedian and actor, was born (d. 2003).
1906 T.H. White, British author, was born (d. 1964).
1914 Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives.
1917 – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was born (d. 1963).
1919 The Republic of Prekmurje founded.
1924 AEK Athens FC was established on the anniversary of the siege of Constantinople by the Turks.
1935 The Hoover Dam was completed.
1939 Albanian fascist leader Tefik Mborja is appointed as member of the Italian Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.
1940 The first flight of the F4U Corsair.
1941 Doug Scott, British mountaineer, was born.
1945 Gary Brooker, musician (Procol Harum), was born.
1945 First combat mission of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber.
1948 Creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation
1950 The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia .
1953 Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay’s (adopted) 39th birthday.
1954 First of the annual Bilderberg conferences.
1959 Rupert Everett, English actor, was born.
1961 Melissa Etheridge, American musician, was born.
1963 Tracey E. Bregman, American actress, was born.
1967 Noel Gallagher, English musician (former Oasis), was born.
1969 General strike in Córdoba, Argentina, leading to the Cordobazo civil unrest.
1973 Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.
1975 Melanie Brown, English musician and actress (Spice Girls), was born.
1978 Adam Rickitt, British actor, was born.
1982 – Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit Canterbury Cathedral.
1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: At the European Cup final in Brussels 39 football fans died and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses after Liverpool F.C. fans breached a fence separating them from Juventus F.C. fans.
1988 U.S. President Ronald Reagan began his first visit to the Soviet Union.
1990 The Russian parliament elected Boris Yeltsin president of the Russian SFSR.
1999 Olusegun Obasanjo took office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule.
2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin could use a cart to ride in at tournaments.
2004 The World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.