Political story of the day

June 21, 2014

The relationship between New Zealand and the USA has never been stronger – Barack Obama

Had a very successful meeting with President Obama today where we discussed the strength of the New Zealand - United States relationship, the economy, trade and global issues.

 


Word of the day

June 21, 2014

Vituperation – verbal abuse or castigation; violent denunciation or condemnation; bitter and abusive or venomous censure or language; harsh and angry criticism; invective.


Rural round-up

June 21, 2014

Irrigation change ‘win-win outcome’ – David Bruce:

Farmers have spent ”tens of thousands of dollars” and considerable time on a plan to cut the irrigation take from the Maerewhenua River, an Environment Canterbury hearing was told in Oamaru yesterday.

Drawn up between the community and Environment Canterbury (ECan), it involves some farmers shifting irrigation takes to the Waitaki River to leave more water in the Maerewhenua, one of New Zealand’s outstanding small river fisheries.

ECan has instigated a plan change to the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Regional Plan, prepared in 2005, to reduce water allowed for irrigation from the Maerewhenua River and some other provisions. . . .

Blue Sky Meats returns to profit – Alan Williams:

Southern lamb processor Blue Sky Meats is back in profit, emerging from what chairman Graham Cooney said was the most difficult trading in its history.

The after-tax profit for the year ended March 31 was $1.94 million, compared to a loss of $3.87m a year earlier. 

Revenue was down 2% to $95.3m, with costs 10% lower at $92.6m. This was as a result of paying livestock suppliers prices which reflected the market, unlike a year earlier, Cooney said. . . .

Levy about ‘putting heat’ into industry:

The proposed levy referendum is about ”putting heat back into the industry”, Wool Levy Group chairwoman Sandra Faulkner says.

Sheep farmers will have the opportunity to vote on whether to reintroduce a wool levy in October.

Until then, Mrs Faulkner, a sheep farmer from Muriwai, and her team will be speaking to groups at events across the country about the referendum process and the importance of voting.

She called her team ”fantastic” and said it had pan-sector representation. . . .

Elders New Zealand sells to Carr Group:

South Island based Carr Group have acquired Elders Rural Services New Zealand (Elders) for an undisclosed amount from Elders Australia Limited and New Zealand based Sredle Rural Services.

Carr Group Managing Director, Craig Carr said the opportunity to return Elders to Kiwi ownership was exciting for both companies. “Bringing together two strong agri-businesses under one New Zealand entity will not only expand our footprint within New Zealand but also across the global marketplace where we currently operate and export to more than 40 countries. Supported by a team of over 400 staff in New Zealand, Australia, India, Africa and the Middle East, this acquisition will take combined group annual revenues to in excess of NZD300 million”.

Starting from humble beginnings 40 years ago in Ashburton, founders Greg and Glenys Carr are still active in the business along with their three sons and daughter. . .

Deer profit initiative wins government support:

The government is supporting a major initiative to increase deer farm profitability.

The Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) is contributing up to $225,000 over the next three years to Advance Parties, a half million dollar project designed to lift deer farming profits. The balance of funding comes from Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ).

DINZ chief executive officer Dan Coup said he was grateful for the support provided by the fund, which has appreciated the novelty and the merit of the Advance Parties concept.

“We see that as a strong endorsement for our overall deer farming profitability strategy – Passion2Profit.” . .

Farmax to be first company to adopt Farm Data Code of Practice

Leading farm management software provider Farmax is the first company in New Zealand to begin the Farm Data Code of Practice accreditation process.

Launched on 10 June, the Farm Data Code of Practice outlines steps organisations must take to safeguard farmers’ data and ensure information is stored and shared in the most secure way possible.

By adopting and implementing the Farm Data Code of Practice, Farmax general manager Gavin McEwen said the company will assure farming clients that their data is managed in a responsible way.

“Compliance with the Code of Practice will show that we are committed to furthering the use of information technology-based solutions in the industry. We believe the guidelines set out within the Code of Practice will eventually lead to greater confidence from farmers in how Farmax handles their data,” said Mr McEwen. . . .

Abodo Wood’s Innovative Wood Products Scoop Green Ribbon Awards 2014:

New Zealand natural wood specialist Abodo Wood scooped the Green Economy Award at this year’s Green Ribbon Awards, on June 16.

Abodo’s range of preservative-free, locally grown cladding products were noted as influential in a drive towards sustainable, cradle-to-cradle building materials.

Of particular note was Abodo Wood’s Elements Vulcan+ and Elements Tundra timber weatherboards, both of which are locally grown, FSC certified and free from chemical preservatives. . .

Cow Stuck On Roof In Swiss Alps, Terrible Puns Ensue – Chris York:

You cud not make it up!

The steaks could not have been higher when a lonely and presumably Friesian bovine moo-ved itself onto… oh you get the picture.

It’s a cow stuck on a roof. . .


Which president?

June 21, 2014

Which US president are you?

Ronald Reagan

You are real and you keep it real like no other. While some may disagree with you at first, your no-nonsense approach at life always works for the good of everyone. You can kick butt for sure. You are the true American hero!

I think this might be a case of choosing close enough when none of the answers are right doesn’t work.


Saturday’s smiles

June 21, 2014

WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?

IF A DEAF CHILD SIGNS SWEAR WORDS, DOES HIS MOTHER WASH HIS HANDS WITH SOAP?

IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?

WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO “GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?”

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?

WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?

IF A TURTLE DOESN’T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED?

CAN VEGETARIANS EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS?

IF THE POLICE ARREST A MIME, DO THEY TELL HIM HE HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT?

WHY DO THEY PUT BRAILLE ON THE DRIVE-THROUGH BANK MACHINES?

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING BEFORE SLICED BREAD?

ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR?

IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?

IF YOU TRY TO FAIL, AND SUCCEED, WHICH HAVE YOU DONE?

WHOSE CRUEL IDEA WAS IT FOR THE WORD ‘LISP’ TO HAVE ‘S’ IN IT?

WHY ARE HAEMORRHOIDS CALLED “HAEMORRHOIDS” INSTEAD OF “ASSTEROIDS”?

WHY IS IT CALLED TOURIST SEASON IF WE CAN’T SHOOT AT THEM?

WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRY DATE ON SOUR CREAM?

CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD


Good old days of Beatles

June 21, 2014

It’s 50 years since the Beatles arrived for their only tour of New Zealand.

I was too young to notice.

My only memory of the tour is of a boy coming to school with a plastic Beatles’ wig he’d borrowed from his older brother.

The group had broken up by the time I was old enough to be interested in them but their music was still popular at the school and Bible Class dances which were the main organised entertainment for teenagers in those days.

The music is still popular, as is a lot of the music I danced to way back then.

The Young Nats organised a party at Queenstown’s Ice Bar before our recent Mainland conference.

Some of the music playing was older than I am and most was what I danced to when I was the age of the current Young Nats.

I mentioned this to one of them who said, “when it came to music, those really were the good old days.”

That the music has endured suggests he’s right.

Do they write songs like this any more?:

While the charm of the song has endured, the line I’ll write home every day dates it.

That referred to letters, written by hand in ink on paper, sent in envelopes with stamps, not emails, texts, Skype, Facetime, Facebook, Twitter and other electronic means of communications.


Policy without principles doesn’t make party

June 21, 2014

Another single-issue group is trying to be a political party.

Ban 1080 Party leader Bill Wallace registered his party online yesterday, having completed paperwork to show he has the required 500 members. . .

Wallace, 63, a mussel farmer and helicopter pilot from Golden Bay, claims to be a newcomer to the 1080 debate.

He says the party will look at fielding candidates in West Coast, Tasman and possibly also further afield.

He would not be standing himself but will soon be in discussion with potential candidates and is on the lookout for a celebrity prepared to front the media on behalf of the party. . .

If his aim is to get attention he might succeed but if he wants to make a real difference politically he won’t have a show.

History is littered with the corpses of single-issue groups without the coherent philosophy and principles a political party requires to succeed.

If an individual or group has a single policy there are much better ways of getting action on it than forming a political party which will go nowhere.


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