Omnific – capable of making or doing anything; all-creating; having unlimited powers of creation.
Sustainable farming title goes to Canterbury – Tim Cronshaw:
Canterbury farmers have made it two years in a row after Mark and Devon Slee were named the national winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Christchurch last night.
The Gordon Stephenson trophy, farming’s top environmental and sustainable silverware, was handed to the couple by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
The Slees topped a field of 10 regional winners in the competition run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust (NZFE).
Their business, Melrose Dairy, is based on a property portfolio of 1014 hectares in the Ealing district, south of Ashburton. . .
Farming balancing act – Stephen Bell and Bryan Gibson:
The final decision on Ruataniwha Dam represents the way of the future for farming and the environment, which will be balancing competing needs, Massey University ecology Associate Professor Dr Russell Death says.
Farming and environmental groups have cautiously welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry’s ruling on conditions for the $265 million dam in Central Hawke’s Bay.
However, while irrigators said commonsense had prevailed, one environment group said the decision meant the scheme’s viability was questionable.
“I guess to a certain extent both parties are right,” Death said. . .
Dam may be feasible after all – Marty Sharpe:
The correction of a relatively simple but hugely significant error in the 1000-page draft decision of the board of inquiry into the Ruataniwha dam proposal means the project may now be viable.
The board’s final decision on the dam and associated plan change was published yesterday, and corrected an “unintended consequence” in the draft decision, which inflamed farmers, farming organisations and the applicants – the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and its investment arm.
The draft decision held all farmers in the Tukituki catchment responsible for keeping the level of dissolved nitrogen in the river at 0.8 milligrams per litre of water. . .
Wanted: young farm workers for the future – Gerard Hutching:
Need a sharemilker? How about employing a foreigner? Or perhaps a young New Zealander?
At the same time as the agricultural sector needs a big boost in the workforce, it has become harder to entice young people on to farms.
But it is not just a question of working on farms. The primary sector is facing a significant shortfall in skilled staff across the board, as the Government attempts to meet the ambitious target of doubling exports by 2025.
Within the primary sector, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ report People Powered, support services is the area of most acute need, followed by horticulture, forestry, the arable industry, dairy and seafood. Only the red meat and wool sector envisages a fall in workers by 5100. . .
Farming app replaces notebooks, calculators: – Anne Boswell:
A barrage of questions from his knowledge-hungry sons led dairy farmer Jason Jones to develop a livestock management application that removes the need for notebooks and calculators.
Handy Farmer, a highly-customisable app for iPhone and Android, was launched earlier this year, eight years after the idea was born.
Jones, a variable order sharemilker of 470 cows on 140ha effective near Otorohanga, said his sons started asking him “all sorts of questions” as they were learning the ropes of the dairy industry. . .
Online fruit and vege sales boom – Hugh Stringleman:
Online buying of fruit and vegetables is growing quickly and customers are more discerning and are prepared to pay more, the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Connections conference in Auckland has been told.
Four speakers gave perspectives from supermarket chains to fruit-and-vegetable stores.
New Zealander Shane Bourk, vice-president fresh food for Wal-Mart in China, said e-commerce was huge in China, although fresh fruit and vegetables lagged. . .
GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:
- No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptise cats.
- When your Mum is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
- If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.
- Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
- You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
- Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
- Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
- You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
- Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
- The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.
GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
- Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
- Wrinkles don’t hurt.
- Families are like fudge…mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
- Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.
- Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.
- Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fibre, not the toy.
GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
- Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
- You’re getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
- It’s frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
- Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
- Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes by itself.
Opposition parties have been trying to convince us the regions are in decline, but the reverse is true:
. . . The latest Westpac survey shows economic confidence has declined in most regions but remains buoyant. Respondents in the quarterly survey are not so upbeat as previously. It follows reports from some economic groups and unions that some regions outside Auckland are at risk of stagnating. ANZ Bank economists disagree with the stagnation theory. They say the idea the regions are being plundered for the benefit of the cities is simply not backed up by the statistics. “Our own Regional Trends proxy for regional economic activity puts Northland at the top of the annual growth stakes in the year to March 2014.” Canterbury and Auckland have led economic growth over the past few years. Strong rises have also been recorded by Waikato, Otago, Taranaki and Nelson-Marlborough. The ANZ commentary says to get the full story, it’s worth doing a bit of knife-and-fork economics (that’s a few dinners chatting along the way).
“While everyone talks about Christchurch, 100km down the road is a place called Ashburton; it’s booming. That’s irrigation for you. South Canterbury is riding the same wave. Central Otago is going very well with evening flights the icing on Queenstown’s cake. Ironically in Otago, it’s the city (Dunedin) that is underperforming the region. Southland is just Southland and getting on with business and not crowing about it. Blenheim just had a bumper grape harvest; Nelson has a reasonable vibe (was there last Wednesday). Taranaki – white and black gold working in tandem. Bay of Plenty – Psa being worked through (kiwifruit land prices have rebounded), they’re seeing Aucklanders relocate, and the port is going well (though the forestry sector is grinding to a halt, which is something we’re watching). Wellington – no Govt spend but lots of IT spend and investment, and Kapiti is doing nicely. Waikato – a 2-hour wait to get into Fieldays the other Friday told us something. Manawatu – trundling along solidly. There are weak spots, but this talk of cities surging and the regions being down in the dumps is just hubris. In many cases it’s not a lack of demand or opportunities holding regions back, it’s getting the available resources (particularly labour). That’s not a bad problem to have!” . .
Just like the manufactured manufacturing crisis opposition parties tried to promote, regions aren’t in decline, they’re buoyant.
Today marks the start of Matariki, the Maori New Year.
Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises just once a year, in mid-winter – late May or early June. For many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year.
Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.
Cycles of life and death
Traditionally, Matariki was a time to remember those who had died in the last year. But it was also a happy event – crops had been harvested and seafood and birds had been collected. With plenty of food in the storehouses, Matariki was a time for singing, dancing and feasting.
Matariki, or Māori New Year celebrations were once popular, but stopped in the 1940s. In 2000, they were revived. Only a few people took part at first, but in just a few years thousands were honouring the ‘New Zealand Thanksgiving’. A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.
The Northern hemisphere celebrates mid-summer but here it’s over-shadowed by Christmas and New Year which follow it.
Matariki provides us with an opportunity for a mid-winter celebration.
Some have suggested making it a holiday but the changing date would make that problematic.
Besides, we shouldn’t need an official holiday to celebrate – it’s something we can do with family and friends by ourselves or in our communities as we choose.
The coldest weather is almost certainly still to come, but we’re now nearer spring than autumn which is as good an excuse as any for some fun.
Victims of serious violent and sexual crimes will be better protected by a new order to help prevent their offender from contacting them, Justice Minister Judith Collins says.
The Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill, which passed its final reading today, creates a ‘non-contact order’ to reduce the risk of unwanted contact between victims and their offender.
“Victims of serious crime deserve peace of mind, so they can recover and move on with their lives,” Ms Collins says.
“This Government has made perfectly clear its commitment to putting victims at the heart of our criminal justice system. Introducing these non-contact orders is one more way to ensure victims feel safe and protected from further offending.”
The new orders can be applied to a person who has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for a specified violent or sexual offence. The orders may also prohibit the offender from contacting the victim in any way, including by electronic means. Where necessary, the orders may ban the offender from entering, living, or working in a particular area.
Victims will be able to apply to the court for a non-contact order at any time after the offender has been sentenced. An order can also cover an offender’s associates.
Ms Collins says the new orders reinforce the Government’s commitment to putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.
“The passage of this Bill supports this Government’s unrelenting commitment to putting victims first. We’re ensuring victims’ are protected and their voices in our criminal justice system remain strong.”
This measure tips the balance of justice in favour of victims.
The absence of so many of Labour’s sitting MPs and candidates from its list raises questions about those people’s focus.
The confusion is compounded by comments like this from Dunedin South MP Clare Curran:
. . . ”I’m 100% committed to the party vote around Dunedin and the region. My total focus will be on this campaign and that is behind my decision to withdraw from the list.” . . .
Not being on the list sends a strong signal that she’ll be campaigning to hold her seat as the only way to remain in parliament. Quite how that helps maximise the party vote isn’t clear.
National won the party vote in Dunedin South in 2011. The first priority of its candidate, Dunedin born-and-bred Hamish Walker is to build on that but Curran is vulnerable in the seat too.
So are at least four other Labour MPs.
. . . In a sign that National is taking nothing for granted sources say it has also targeted four Labour MPs in seats it thinks it can win – Trevor Mallard in Hutt South, Ruth Dyson in Port Hills, Damien O’Connor in West Coast and Iain Lees-Galloway in Palmerston North.
National’s strategy could disrupt Labour’s efforts to maximise the party vote, given that the survival of those MPs could hinge on them campaigning for the electorate vote instead to keep their political careers afloat. . .
A majority of the electorate votes will keep an MP in, or get a candidate into, parliament.
But it’s the party vote which gets them in to government.
That should always be the priority and in spite of the polls, there is no certainty over which parties will be in government after the election:
. . . With a string of polls showing National around 50 per cent, Key will warn them that voter turnout could be the decider and not to assume the election is a done deal.
‘‘I will reiterate the message that while National is doing very well in the polls in reality this is going to be a very tight election,’’ Key said yesterday.
‘‘This is a race to 61 seats and despite the fact Labour is polling very poorly it could still hold hands with the Greens and NZ First, potentially Internet-Mana, and form a government. So there is no room for complacency within National.’’ . . .
Labour’s dismal polling and unpopular leader should make an election win easy for National, but it’s the total block of party votes for right or left that matters and that will allow one or other of those parties to lead the next government.
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.
1098 Fighters of the First Crusade defeated Kerbogha of Mosul.
1389 Ottomans defeated Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe.
1491 Henry VIII was born (d. 1547).
1519 Charles V elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
1577 Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1640).
1635 Guadeloupe became a French colony.
1651 Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians started.
1703 John Wesley, English founder of Methodism, was born (d. 1791).
1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher, was born (d. 1778).
1776 American Revolutionary War: Carolina Day – commemorates the defense of Fort Moultrie during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.
1776 American Revolutionary War: Thomas Hickey, Continental Army private and bodyguard to General George Washington, was hanged for mutiny and sedition.
1778 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Monmouth fought between the American Continental Army under George Washington and the British Army led by Sir Henry Clinton.
1807 Second British invasion of the Río de la Plata; John Whitelock landed at Ensenada on an attempt to recapture Buenos Aires and was defeated by the fierce resistance of the locals.
1838 The coronation of Queen Victoria.
1841 The Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premiered the ballet Giselle.
1859 First conformation dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
1865 The Army of the Potomac was disbanded.
1880 Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger was captured at Glenrowan.
1881 Secret treaty between Austria and Serbia.
1882 Anglo-French Convention of 1882 signed marking territorial boundaries between Guinea and Sierra Leone.
1895 El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua formed the Central American Union.
1896 An explosion in the Newton Coal Company’s Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City, resulted in a massive cave-in that killed 58 miners.
1902 Richard Rodgers, American composer, was born (d. 1979).
1902 The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner Act, authorising President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.
1904 The SS Norge ran aground and sank.
1909 Eric Ambler, English writer, was born (d. 1998).
1914 Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I.
1919 The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris, formally ending World War I between Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the United States and allies on the one side and Germany and Austria Hungary on the other side.
1926 Mel Brooks, American filmmaker, was born.
1928 Harold Evans, English journalist and writer; editor of The Sunday Times, was born.
1936 The Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang was formed in northern China.
1940 Romania ceded Bessarabia (current-day Moldova) to the Soviet Union.
1948 Cominform circulated the “Resolution on the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia”; Yugoslavia was expelled from the Communist bloc.
1948 Boxer Dick Turpin beat Vince Hawkins to become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era.
1950 Seoul was captured by troops from North Korea.
1954 A. A. Gill, British writer and columnist, was born.
1956 Protests and demonstrations in Poznań.
1964 Malcom X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
1967 Israel annexed East Jerusalem.
1969 Stonewall riots began in New York City.
1971 Louise Bagshawe, British novelist and politician, was born.
1973 HMNZS Otago sailed for the Mururoa nuclear test zone.
1973 Elections were held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which led to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time.
1976 The Angolan court sentenced US and UK mercenaries to death sentences and prison terms in the Luanda Trial.
1978 The United States Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke barred quota systems in college admissions.
1981 A powerful bomb exploded in Tehran, killing 73 officials of Islamic Republic Party.
1983 The Mianus River Bridge collapsed killing 3 drivers in their vehicles.
1990 Paperback Software International Ltd. found guilty by a U.S. court of copyright violation for copying the appearance and menu system of Lotus 1-2-3 in its competing spreadsheet program.
1992 The Constitution of Estonia was signed into law.
1994 Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas attack at Matsumoto, 7 persons killed, 660 injured.
1996 The Constitution of Ukraine was signed into law.
2004 Sovereign power was handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.
2005 War in Afghanistan: Three U.S. Navy SEALs and 16 American Special Operations Forces soldiers were killed during Operation Red Wing, a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province.
2009 – Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a local military coup following a failed request to hold a referendum to rewrite the Honduran Constitution. This was the start of the 2009 Honduran political crisis.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia