Word of the day

15/07/2014

Clappermaclaw – to claw or scratch; to scold.


Share your story

15/07/2014

Rural Women New Zealand is inviting people to get creative by writing short stories and taking photos and videos to showcase New Zealand farming life today.

“We are running the competition in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tell the stories behind the primary products we grow on our farms,” says Rural Women national president, Wendy McGowan.

MPI will use some of the photos, videos and stories to promote the New Zealand primary industry brand and our rural values.

“We encourage people to get their creative juices flowing to share the challenges and triumphs of farming and today’s sustainable business practices,” says Wendy McGowan.

“We hope to see entries that reflect our care of the land and our animals, and the skills and ingenuity of the people that make New Zealand’s primary industries so successful.

Rural Women NZ also hopes the competition will highlight the opportunities for great careers that are available in the sector.

The competition is being run as part of Rural Women NZ’s celebrations to mark the 2014 International Year of Family Farming.

“Stories are powerful, and we have some great farming stories to tell,” says Wendy McGowan.
There are five entry categories: Women and men at work on the farm; farm machinery and farm innovation; animals; children; rural communities. Entries close 1 November 2014 and the competition is open to everyone.

More details and an entry from can be found here.

 


Rural round-up

15/07/2014

Medium scale adverse event declared in Northland:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has declared a medium-scale adverse event for the primary sector in storm-hit Northland.

“This will provide the overarching framework for any Government support as assessments continue to be made.

“The first stage of this is to provide funding for Northland Rural Support Trust (NRST) to deliver help, support, and management advice to farmers and growers. The Trust have been working closely with MPI and local authorities to determine what’s required in the clean-up phase after severe flooding and wind damage.

“The storm has impacted around 80% of the primary sector in Northland with very high winds and heavy rainfall over a solid four day period. I’ve seen for myself the damage today at an avocado orchard severely damaged by wind and dairy farms near Whangarei under water. . .

Grower quits after $100,000 avo thefts – Kristin Edge:

Northland avocado growers are being warned to be on high alert for fruit thieves with one Whangarei grower estimating $100,000 worth of fruit has been stolen over the past five years.

The Whangarei grower, who did not want to be identified because she feared for her safety, said her orchard had been continually targeted by thieves and she was selling up due to the financial losses and emotional stress.

The latest theft comes only days after an industry-wide warning was issued to growers to be extra vigilant to protect the new season’s crop. . .

Farmers focus on debt – Jeremy Tauri:

We spend a lot of time worrying about the residential property market, if prices are out of control and how young people will get their first homes.

But although we have focused on the price of a house and section in the suburbs, many people have ignored what’s been happening out of town.

The rural sector is the biggest driver of this country’s economy and in the regions we feel the impact of farmers’ fortunes even more acutely. But although we’ve been bemoaning that, nationwide, house prices have increased two-and-a-half times since 2000, rural land prices have trebled. Real Estate Institute statistics show the median price a hectare for farms sold in the three months to May 2014 was $25,017. . . .

Shepherd makes tracks to France – Sally Rae:

Come September it will be ”au revoir Waihaorunga” and ”bonjour France” for young South Canterbury shepherd Alex Reekers.

Mr Reekers (23), a member of the Glenavy Young Farmers Club, and Mitchel Hoare (19), of Te Kuiti Young Farmers Club, will represent New Zealand at the final of the World Young Shepherds Challenge in Auvergne, France, in September.

The pair earned the top scores in the preliminary round of the challenge, held alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest grand final at Lincoln. . . .

Trust works more at top of the cliff – Sally Rae:

The Otago Rural Support Trust’s emphasis is changing.

Traditionally, the work of the trust had been ”the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”, mostly during adverse weather events like floods, snow storms and droughts.

But increasingly, the trust was ”doing more work at the top of the cliff”, assisting rural families who were under stress, chairman Gavan Herlihy, of Wanaka, said. . . .

New agri-chemicals safety campaign:

A new rural safety campaign is underway, and this one aims to encourage farmers and growers to wear the right safety gear when using agricultural chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has teamed up with agri-chemical industry body Agcarm and WorkSafe New Zealand for the campaign. Rural retailers are also participating by displaying posters and other information in more than 260 stores.

EPA chief executive Rob Forlong said the main point was to eliminate the “she’ll be right” attitude towards farm chemical and safety gear. . .


Politicking but not political?

15/07/2014

Greenpeace and some of its friends are taking the Electoral Commission to court:

Environmental groups are taking the Electoral Commission to court over a ruling on a climate change campaign.

Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, WWF and others launched the Climate Voter initiative last month.

But the Electoral Commission says the campaign counts as an “election advertisement”, and is therefore subject to rules around wording of communications and spending restrictions.

Greenpeace says the ruling could gag grassroots advocacy groups – and the organisations are planning to take a freedom of speech test case to the High Court. . .

No-one is telling them they can’t say what they want to say.

The Commission is just pointing out that what they say is telling people to vote, or not vote, for certain parties which make it an election advertisement and therefore has to have a promoter statement.

Why wouldn’t they want a promoter statement?

David Farrar reminds us that Greenpeace is appealing a ruling that denies it charitable status because it’s primarily a political organisation:

If they put a promoter statement on their website, then they weaken their own case that they are a charity, not a lobby group. So to try and keep up the pretence they are a charity, they are going to court again.

I hope the Electoral Commission seeks costs, if Greenpeace loses.

No organisation which does as much lobbying as Greenpeace does should have charitable status.

It’s primarily a lobby group which uses the environment to push its hard-left politics and if it wants to persuade voters to opt for or against any parties in election year it has to abide by electoral law.


In which period of history do you belong?

15/07/2014

In which period of history do you belong?

You got: Ancient Egypt

You’re cooler than Cleopatra and terrific as Tutankhamun. You’re a dreamer who thinks big and acts bigger. After all, a life of luxury is grand, but people remember you in the afterlife by the size of your pyramid!


For those who don’t do queues

15/07/2014

One of the benefits of living in a country with not many people is that we don’t have to do a lot of queuing.

That is particularly so when you live in the country and do most of your shopping and socialising in a small town.

The problem with that is we tend to get a wee bit impatient if we have to queue.

People who live in more populous places are used to queuing more and for longer.

That doesn’t mean they like it and that’s what planted the seed for a business:

Impatience has a price. Robert Samuel pegs it at $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional half hour.

Samuel is founder and owner of S.O.L.D. or Same Ole Line Dudes, a professional line-sitting company that fields requests to wait (and wait and wait) for everything from sneaker launches to concert tickets.

“Whatever you want, we wait for it,” he said. . .

The idea for SOLD sprang out of an unemployment stint for Samuel after he was fired by AT&T—ironically for being late.

To make some quick cash, he posted a Craigslist ad offering line-sitting services for an Apple iPhone launch. After a 19-hour wait (his longest) for the gadget, Samuel made $325 and an idea was born.

“I just put the idea in my back pocket, and I’m like ‘Wow, this is a money-making opportunity.’ Let me hold on to this,” he said.

A few months later, he launched Same Ole Line Dude. “Dude” turned plural as business picked up. . .

Time is money  and this business would be very attractive for people with enough of the latter to afford to pay someone to save them wasting too much of the former.


Less tax is better tax

15/07/2014

Quote of the day from the New Zealand Initiative.:

. . . Taxes are not the price we pay for a civilised society. At best they are the price we pay for a civilised government. But they are also the price of overly bureaucratic procedures, unpredictable outcomes, and the loss of freedom to make our own decisions.

Apropos of which:

Atlas Shrugged The Movie's photo.

Doing more with less is something all governments should aspire to, but I accept that there are times when tax cuts might not be possible.

However, I do think no new tax should be added without reducing or removing an old one to ensure the outcome is at least fiscally neutral.

Less tax is better tax.


Clean water balancing act

15/07/2014

Clean water is a hard balancing act, Fran Wilde, chair of Local Government New Zealand’s regional sector says.

The recent announcement on bottom lines for water quality has re-ignited the debate on the impact of farming on our rivers and lakes.

Farmers and industry are easy targets but it is too simple to blame them entirely for the state of our water. The quality of sewerage and stormwater infrastructure around the country is also significant, not only in rural areas but in urban areas, where some of our dirtiest waterways are located. .

Since 2011 when the National Policy Statement (NPS) on Freshwater was issued by the Government, regional and unitary councils have been charged with “maintaining and improving” water quality. Some of the more recently developed Regional Plans to do this have been very public battles – the Horizons Council’s One Plan is an example. 

So while the recent announcement is not a new concept, what has changed is that we now have “bottom lines” or minimum standards. Under the new regime, communities will discuss and agree on the values they place on water and what is needed to improve the quality of water bodies that are below these bottom lines – or that the communities feel should be higher than the minimum.

This is a collaborative approach giving local communities control, rather than having to accept impositions from central government as the Green Party proposes.

A few years ago the Land and Water Forum recommended this type of collaborative community process for this work. Farming representatives involved in the Forum also were very clear that if limits were to be imposed on their farming practices to improve water quality then the same had to apply to local authorities and water infrastructure. The new framework does both of these – the regional council in collaboration with the community is required to set limits for all water quality – what the standard should be and how it is to be achieved.

But improving water quality comes at a cost. There is a cost to farmers as practices are changed, stock rates lowered and investments made in new technology. The same applies to industry – and to communities which have to pay for upgrades to wastewater infrastructure and stormwater networks. Thus when communities decide to improve water quality and set this in their Regional Plan, getting there will cost them. In some smaller communities demographic changes will make this a challenge and aging populations, with many on fixed incomes, may question the expense involved in the water infrastructure upgrades. 

Many local councils have already invested heavily in upgrading sewerage treatment plants and it’s inevitable 
that others will have to follow. The question for our communities will be how to fund these upgrades, taking into account not only those demographic changes but widespread calls to hold rates increases to a minimum. . . 

We’d all like pristine water everywhere, but the cost of achieving and then maintaining that would be exorbitant.

Councils and the communities they serve know that clean waterways is a hard balancing act but they are in the best position to work out what is desirable, achievable and affordable.

 

 


Dairy cash cow for regions

15/07/2014

Dairying is a cash cow for the regions:

New Zealand’s regional economies are milking the dairy industry, taking $14.3 billion in total in 2013-14 – a 31 percent increase in earnings – DairyNZ figures show.

The regions earned about $14.3 billion from dairy farms in 2013-2014, taking the lion’s share of national dairy earnings. In total, it’s estimated the New Zealand economy earned $17.6 billion from dairy exports that year.

DairyNZ’s chief executive Tim Mackle says its recent Economic Survey shows the industry contributed about 31 percent more than the previous year and injected much of that back into growth, farm spending and jobs.

“Our latest survey shows the financial value that dairy farmers bring into each province, helping grow residents’ wealth even if they are not dairy farming themselves,” Dr Mackle says.

Dairy’s boost to rural economies is consistent with the national trend. National dairy export revenue soared by 30 percent to 17.6 billion in 2013-14, a Situation and Outlook 2014 report from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says.

New Zealand’s dairy export revenue is expected to rise in the future, reaching $18.4 billion by the year ending 30 June 2018, based on a modest rise in domestic production, increasing international dairy prices, and a depreciating NZD, the MPI report says.

DairyNZ’s 2013-14 estimations shows New Zealand’s top provincial performer in dairying is Waikato, retaining its top spot from the previous year and earning $3.8 billion, followed by Canterbury with $2.77 billion, Southland with $1.72 billion then Taranaki with $1.44 billion.

Opposition parties say they’re keen for the regions to do better but they’re also against dairying which is a cash cow for the regions.

The benefits aren’t just financial, they’re social too – providing jobs on farms and in the businesses which service and supply them with the population boost that brings.

The other leg of the sustainability stool is the environment but most of the criticism of dairying is based on past practices.

Dairy companies and regional councils require high environmental standards and most farmers are complying with them.

There is still more to do but problems which built up over time aren’t solved overnight.

The left’s anti-dairying policies wouldn’t necessarily do much to help the environment, they would harm the economy and the whole country would lose from that.


July 15 in history

15/07/2014

1099 First Crusade: Christian soldiers took the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem  after the final assault of a difficult siege.

1207 John of England expelled Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton.

1240  A Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.

1381  John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, was hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England.

1410  Battle of Grunwald: allied forces of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the army of the Teutonic Order.

1573 Inigo Jones, English architect, was born (d. 1652).

1606 Rembrandt, Dutch artist, was born (d. 1669).

1685  James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth was executed at Tower Hill  after his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor.

1741 Alexei Chirikov sighted land in Southeast Alaska and sent men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1779 Clement Clarke Moore, American educator, author, and poet, was born  (d. 1863).

1789 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, was named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.

1799  The Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.

1806  Pike expedition: United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike began an expedition from Fort Belle Fountaine to explore the west.

1815  Napoléon Bonaparte surrendered aboard HMS Bellerophon.

1823 A fire destroyed the ancient Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

1838 Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage.

1850  Mother Cabrini, Italian-born Catholic saint, was born  (d. 1917).

1870 Reconstruction era of the United States: Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

1870 Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory were transferred to Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories were established from these  territories.

1870 The Kingdom of Prussia and the Second French Empire started the Franco-Prussian War.

1888  The stratovolcano Mount Bandai erupted killing approximately 500 people.

1905 Dorothy Fields, American librettist and lyricist, was born (d. 1974).

1906 Rudolf “Rudi” Uhlenhaut, German automotive engineer and test driver (Mercedes Benz), was born  (d. 1989).

1911 Edward Shackleton, English explorer, ws born  (d. 1994).

1914 Akhtar Hameed Khan, pioneer of Microcredit in developing countries, was born (d. 1999).

1914 Hammond Innes, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1916  In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporated Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).

1918 World War I: the Second Battle of the Marne began near the River Marne with a German attack.

1918 – Joan Roberts, American actress, was born.

1919   Iris Murdoch, Irish writer, was born (d. 1999).

1920 The Polish Parliament establishes Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship before the Polish-German plebiscite.

1926  Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentine dictator, was born (d. 2003).

1927  Massacre of July 15, 1927: 89 protesters were killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.

1929  First weekly radio broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio show, Music and the Spoken Word.

1931 Clive Cussler, American author, was born.

1933 Jack Lovelock’s set a world record for a mile run at Princeton University, beating the old record for the mile, held by Jules Ladoumegue, by almost two seconds. It was dubbed the ‘greatest mile of all time’ by Time Magazine.

Lovelock smashes world mile record

1934 Continental Airlines commenced operations.

1943 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Irish astrophysicist, was born.

1946 Linda Ronstadt, American singer, was born.

1946  Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, was born.

1947 Peter Banks, British guitarist (Yes), was born.

1954 First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.

1955 Eighteen Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.

1956 Marky Ramone, American musician (Ramones), was born.

1959  The steel strike of 1959 began, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.

1974  In Nicosia, Greek-sponsored nationalists launched a coup d’état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.

1979 U.S.President Jimmy Carter gave his famous “malaise” speech, where he characterised the greatest threat to the country as “this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.”

1983 The Orly airport attack in Paris left 8 people dead and 55 injured.

1996  A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashed on landing at Eindhoven Airport.

2002  Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan handed down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

2003  AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation was established on the same day.

2006 – Twitter was launched, becoming one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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