Word of the day

17/07/2014

Hereism – faithfulness in marriage; monogamy.


Rural round-up

17/07/2014

Shock treatment makes waves – Sally Rae:

It has been an electrifying experiment.

A research team at the University of Otago has been using short bursts of high-voltage electricity in a bid to improve the tenderness of red meat.

The research, in conjunction with Alliance Group and led by Dr Alaa El-din Bekhit, of the university’s food science department, has been cited as having the potential to open up new opportunities for lifting returns on lower-value carcass cuts. . . .

Landowners want history kept alive:

A Taranaki Maori landowner of an award-winning farm wants tribal descendants to know about the land’s history, not just its success.

Te Rua o te Moko farm near Hawera won this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy recognising Maori excellence in farming.

The farm is made of four land blocks, one of which was confiscated by the Crown in 1863 and is being held in a land bank. It is due to be given back as part of the Ngaruahinerangi iwi Treaty of Waitangi settlement. . .

Landcorp’s huge dairy plans start to take shape

Three new dairy farms that have been converted from forestry will begin milking for the first time in the new season as part of Landcorp’s large-scale dairy development near Taupo.

The state-owned enterprise has converted nine farms from forestry in partnership with landowner Wairakei Pastoral. In total, the nine dairy units encompassed 5300ha and milked 13,000 cows, chief executive Steven Carden said. Based on its current timetable, Landcorp hoped to have everything completed by 2020. To date, the project has cost $87 million.

“We have four this year, four the next year and four the year after. When the whole thing is finished we are looking at 24 farms and around about 30,000 cows across 25,700ha of land.”  . . .

Knock-on effects of less beer drinking – Sonita Chandar:

Fewer people are drinking beer and farmers are getting a hangover.

As beer consumption falls, breweries require less malt and malting companies need less barley from farmers.

The change in Kiwis’ drinking habits is being felt at the Marton malting factory of MaltEurop NZ.

Operations manager Tiago Cabral says some barley growers are likely to feel the effect more than others.

“We will need less barley and will have to contract less tonnage from our growers,” he says. . . .

2014 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards Finalists Announced:

The finalists have been announced for the third Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Sheep Industry Awards.

About 300 people are expected to attend the awards dinner – which recognise top-performing New Zealand sheep breeders – on 6 August in Napier.

Five industry-related awards will be presented. In addition to the Sheep Industry Trainer of the Year, Individual or Business Making a Significant Contribution to the New Zealand Sheep Industry and the Sheep Industry Innovation Award, two new awards have been added: the Sheep Industry Science Award, recognising a project, business or person undertaking science that is having a positive impact on farming now, and the Sheep Industry Supplier Award, which recognises a farmer supplier nominated by processors for consistently meeting company specifications and other key performance indicators. . .

CRV Ambreed appoints artificial insemination expert to Tasman, Marlborough area role:

Dairy farmer, breeder and artificial insemination expert Nigel Patterson has been appointed field consultant for the CRV Ambreed team, in which he will be managing the Nelson, Marlborough, Murchison area.

CRV Ambreed’s South Island sales and services manager Mark Duffy said the company was delighted to have someone with such a strong background in dairy join the team.

“Nigel has over 26 years’ experience in the dairy industry, including running his own pedigree Jersey herd, share milking, providing testing services and supporting farmers through artificial insemination (AI),” said Mr Duffy. . . .

New Zealand’s leading analytical testing laboratory celebrates 30 years:

In July 1984 a young Waikato scientist by the name of Roger Hill left a small soil testing laboratory in Cambridge to launch his own in Hamilton.

Roger and his wife Anne’s initial business intention, he says, was simply to “have a go” on their own.

Yet three decades later the company, well-known nationally and internationally as Hill Laboratories, is the largest privately owned testing laboratory in the whole of New Zealand. . .

Ballance signs up record shareholders:

A record number of farmers from around the country have secured shareholdings in Ballance Agri-Nutrients in time to receive a rebate on their fertiliser purchased from the farm nutrient co-operative in September this year.

Ballance’s rebate and dividend in the 2013 financial year averaged a record $65 per tonne.

Nearly 1000 farmers signed up to become shareholders for the 2014 financial year which ended on 31 May. . .

Reduce winter nitrogen loss – Bala Tikkisetty:

Winter is a time when farmers should take special care to protect both profits and the environment from the effects of increased nitrogen leaching at this time of year.

Applications of nitrogen fertilisers in winter are generally least effective for promoting grass growth.

That’s because slow growth of pasture and drainage from increased seasonal rainfall can result in nitrate leaching directly from fertiliser before plants can take it up. The nitrogen can then make its way to waterways where it can stimulate nuisance algal growth. . .


For the people

17/07/2014

Parties on the left appear to think more is better when it comes to taxpayers’ money.

They want to take more so they can spend more.

In stark contrast to that National has focussed on getting value for money in the knowledge that in many areas the quality of spending is more important than the quantity.

The left’s policies tend to foster dependence where National is determined to help those who can stand on their own feet to do so.

That’s government for the people to their benefit, helping them lead more independent, hopeful and productive lives.

 

Under a National-led government people are more confident they can make a difference in their own lives.


Thursday’s quiz

17/07/2014

It’s your turn to ask the questions.

You don’t have to follow the five-question formula I usually use.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win an electronic batch of shortbread.


If an election was held tomorrow . . .

17/07/2014

The question polling companies ask is if an election was held tomorrow which party would you vote for?

The answer to that is very encouraging for National and very depressing for Labour and the parties it would need to cobble together a government.

Last night’s Roy Morgan poll and today’s Fairfax Media Ipsos poll, both confirm the trend of National above 50% and Labour and the GIMPs below it.

But the election isn’t being held tomorrow and while the odds favour National that could actually work against it.

No party has won 50% support since we’ve had MMP and the high support could lead to complacency.

National supporters might think they don’t need to vote or they can afford to play with their party vote.

That certainly isn’t the case.

Complacency or over-confidence from centre right voters could let Labour and the Green, NZ First and Internet Mana parties cobble together a coalition of the unwilling and ill-disciplined.

 


Anti-farming policies cost poor most

17/07/2014

 

Photo

In New Zealand we don’t only need farmers to produce our food, we need them to produce food for other parts of the world.

Opposition parties which are anti-farming don’t seem to realise that policies which make farming more difficult and expensive will make food more expensive.

That is not an argument against environmental protection and enhancement and fair work practices.

It is a plea for practical policies based on good science, not political ideology and emotion.

We will all pay for bad policy and  those who will literally and figuratively pay most  are the poor these same parties purport to represent and in whose interests they purport to be working.


Fine policy working

17/07/2014

National’s policy of requiring fine-dodgers to pay-up or be banned from driving is working:

The Ministry of Justice has collected $4.6 million in just four months from people who risked being banned from driving under a tough new enforcement tool for overdue fines, Courts Minister Chester Borrows says.

Driver Licence Stop Orders (DLSOs) can be placed on anyone who fails to pay traffic-related fines imposed by a Court, Police or local government authority – or reparations imposed by a Court for traffic-related offences.

Since DLSOs were launched on 17 February, the Ministry of Justice has issued 87 warning letters, and served only one DLSO – and that was subsequently lifted after the person set up arrangements to repay their fines.

“This initiative was designed to send a compelling message to offenders who’ve racked up overdue traffic debts,” says Mr Borrows.

“It seems the threat of losing their driver licence has motivated many of those with fines owing who have, until now, ignored their obligation to pay up or enter an arrangement to pay the debt off over time.”

DLSOs target the most difficult to reach people – a hard core of around 25,000 drivers who each owed fines and reparation totalling more than $2,000, and had ignored repeated reminders to pay it off.

Of that group, over 10,800 have contacted the Ministry of Justice in the past three months, to make repayments totalling $4.6 million.

“The fact we’ve recovered $4.6 million from a stubborn group, who had ignored all previous reminders about their obligations, without having to take anyone’s licence away shows how effective the DLSO sanction is.”

While those with the largest outstanding fines have been targeted first, the Ministry of Justice will step up the issuing of DLSO warning letters over the next six months to others.

“We are focussing on the worst offenders first, but the message is clear. If you have an outstanding fine we will catch up with you,” says Mr Borrows.

“Anyone with an overdue fine should seize this opportunity to contact the Ministry of Justice and make a payment arrangement if they wish to hold on to their licence.”

Background

The Government is committed to ensuring that fines remain a credible sanction.

The Courts and Criminal Matters Bill, passed by Parliament in July 2011, gave the Ministry of Justice wider powers to collect fines – including the ability to issue Driver Licence Stop Orders (DLSOs).

DLSO’s help send the message that ignoring fines is not an acceptable, or sensible, option.

DLSOs are initiated with a warning letter giving people 14 days’ notice to either pay up or set up a payment plan. Those notified will get one more reminder, and if they ignore that, a bailiff will be sent to seize their driver licence. Licences will remain suspended until the fine is paid in full, or payment arrangements are in place.

People who have their licence suspended due to unpaid fines or reparation will not be able to apply for a limited licence. And if a person flouts the law by driving while suspended, they risk being charged with that offence, and having the vehicle they were driving impounded for 28 days.

DLSOs feature as part of a new media campaign (television, radio, print, online) encouraging people to pay their fines. It began on 2 February 2014 and has run regularly since then.

 For too long fine-dodgers just kept ignoring their obligations and many amassed more fines.

The threat of losing their licences is  tough but fair and it’s working.

 

Earlier this year we introduced new Drivers Licence Stop Orders, to let the Court take away the drivers licence of people who refuse to pay their traffic fines.  From a target group of 25,000 fine dodgers, in the first four months 10,800 people have coughed up $4.6 million - a great result!


Lower power price increases

17/07/2014

Power price rises are one of the sticks with which opposition parties try to beat the government.

It’s an easy hit because all but the self-sufficient use power and the lower people’s budgets are the greater the proportion of them has to be spent on the power bill.

However, the facts don’t support their criticism:

New power price data released today shows the Government’s 2010 electricity reforms are making a real difference for consumers, says Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges.

“The sales data released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for the year ending March 2014, shows the lowest annual price increase since 2001 at 2.3 per cent,” Mr Bridges says.

“Discounts and other benefits from retailers are becoming the new norm in an increasingly competitive electricity market and the new data captures what consumers have actually paid for their power, rather than the advertised price.”

MBIE has also released the June quarter of the price indicator known as the Quarterly Survey of Domestic Electricity Prices (QSDEP), which captures the latest April price increases.

For the June quarter, there has been an increase of 2.3 per cent.  This was driven by a 6.7 per cent increase in lines charges — the component regulated by the Commerce Commission — as retailers passed on the significant investment costs associated with upgrading local networks.

The energy component — the part subject to competition — decreased by 0.7 per cent.

Mr Bridges says competition is the best way to keep prices down and the latest electricity data shows that the Government’s 2010 reforms have helped bring runaway power price increases under control.

“Since the National-led Government took office in 2008, we have halved the power price increases seen under the previous Labour Government.”

Latest figures released by the Electricity Authority show that consumers can save, on average, $155 per year by switching power retailers.

“I encourage consumers to continue to shop around for the best deal,” Mr Bridges says.

The latest electricity price data can be found here: http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/energy/energy-modelling/data/prices/electricity-prices

Editor’s notes:

In March 2014, the Minister of Energy and Resources announced changes to improve electricity price monitoring and provide more accurate information about how the market is performing. http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/changes-improve-electricity-price-monitoring

The previous way electricity prices were monitored wasn’t detailed enough to capture all the discounts and benefits being offered as a result of an increasingly competitive electricity market.

MBIE has worked with electricity retailers to develop the new approach, which reflects what people have actually paid for their electricity, including discounts and benefits.

The new data is based on the actual volume of electricity sold and the total revenue, to give the average price paid per kilowatt hour.  It includes prompt payment, multi-fuel and online discounts, as well as incentive and retention payments, and rates paid by consumers on fixed-term plans.

MBIE and the Electricity Authority will continue to work to improve electricity price data, including access to, and analysis of, more detailed consumption data with a view to making this publicly available in 2015.

 The reforms are working and they are far better than the back-to-the-future power play proposed by Labour and the Green Party.

Our 2010 electricity reforms are making a real difference for consumers. national.org.nz/news/news/media-releases/detail/2014/07/15/new-price-monitoring-shows-competition-strengthening #Working4NZ


July 17 in history

17/07/2014

180 Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa  were executed for being Christians. This was the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.

1203 The Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople by assault. The Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus fled into exile.

1402  Zhu Di, better known by his era name as the Yongle Emperor, assumed the throne over the Ming Dynasty of China.

1453  Hundred Years’ War:  Battle of Castillon: The French under Jean Bureau defeated the English under the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was killed in the battle in Gascony.

1586 A meeting took place at Lüneburg between several Protestant powers to discuss the formation of an ‘evangelical’ league of defence, called the ‘Confederatio Militiae Evangelicae’, against the Catholic League.

1674 Isaac Watts, English hymnwriter, was born (d. 1748).

1717  King George I  sailed down the River Thames with a barge of 50 musicians, where George Frideric Handel’s Water Music was premiered.

1762  Catherine II became tsar of Russia on the murder of Peter III.

1771  Bloody Falls Massacre: Chipewyan chief Matonabbee, travelling as the guide to Samuel Hearne on his Arctic overland journey, massacred a group of unsuspecting Inuit.

1791 Members of the French National Guard under the command of General Lafayette opened fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.

1794  The sixteen Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne were executed 10 days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.

1815  Napoleonic Wars: In France, Napoleon surrenders at Rochefort, Charente-Maritime to British forces.

1856  The Great Train Wreck of 1856 in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania killed over 60 people.

1863 The British invasion force led by General Duncan Cameron had its first significant encounter with Waikato Maori at Koheroa, near Mercer.

1867 Havard School of Dental Medicine, the first dental school in the USA, was established.

1870 Charles Davidson Dunbar, British military piper, was born (d. 1939).

1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, American lawyer and author (Perry Mason), was born  (d. 1970).

1899 James Cagney, American actor, was born  (d. 1986).

1899  NEC Corporation was organised as the first Japanese joint venture with foreign capital.

1902 Christina Stead, Australian novelist, was born  (d. 1983).

1912 Art Linkletter, Canadian television host, was born  (d. 2010).

1917 Phyllis Diller, American comedienne, was born.

1917  King George V of the United Kingdom issued a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British royal family would bear the surname Windsor.

1918  The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, was sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; 5 lives were lost.

1920 Juan Antonio Samaranch, Spanish chairman of the International Olympic Committee, was born (d. 2010).

1920 Gordon Gould, inventor of the laser , was born (d. 2005).

1933 After successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica crashed in Europe.

1935 Donald Sutherland, Canadian actor, was born.

1936 Spanish Civil War: An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain started the civil war.

1938  Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn to fly the “wrong way” to Ireland and becames known as “Wrong Way” Corrigan.

1939 Paddy, a ginger and brown Airedale terrier, which achieved national celebrity status due to his exploits on the Wellington waterfront (and beyond)., died.

Death of Paddy the Wanderer

1939  Spencer Davis, British singer and guitarist (Spencer Davis Group), was born.

1940  Tim Brooke-Taylor, English comedian, was born.

1942  World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad started.

1944 Port Chicago disaster: Two ships laden with ammunition for the war exploded in Port Chicago, California, killing 320.

1944  World War II: Napalm incendiary bombs were dropped for the first time by American P-38 pilots on a fuel depot at Coutances, near St. Lô, France.

1945 World War II: Potsdam Conference – U.S. President Harry Truman, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the three main Allied leaders, began their final summit of the war.

1947 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was born.

1948  The South Korean constitution was proclaimed.

1954 Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, was born.

1955  Disneyland televised its grand opening in Anaheim, California.

1962  Nuclear weapons testing: The “Small Boy” test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.

1968   Abdul Rahman Arif was overthrown and the Ba’ath Party installed as the governing power in Iraq with Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr as the new Iraqi President.

1973  King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan was deposed by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan while in Italy undergoing eye surgery.

1975 Andre Adams, New Zealand Cricketer, was born.

Andre Adams.jpg

1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock edwith each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.

1976  East Timor was annexed, and becomes the 27th province of Indonesia.

1976  The opening of the Summer Olympics in Montreal was marred by 25 African teams boycotting the New Zealand team.

1979  Nicaraguan president General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigned and fled to Miami.

1981 The opening of the Humber Bridge.

1981  Structural failure led to the collapse of a walkway at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri killing 114 people and injuring more than 200.

1989  First flight of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.

1996  TWA Flight 800: Off the coast of Long Island, New York, a Paris-bound TWA Boeing 747 exploded, killing all 230 on board.

1997  The F.W. Woolworth Company closed after 117 years in business.

1998 Papua New Guinea earthquake: A tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake destroyed 10 villages in Papua New Guinea killing an estimated 3,183, leaving 2,000 more unaccounted for and thousands more homeless.

1998  A diplomatic conference adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing a permanent international court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

1999 The animated television show Spongebob Squarepants made its official series premiere on Nickelodeon.

2002 Apple Inc. premiered iCal at Macworld Expo, this date appears default on Dock.

2007  TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas) Flight 3054 crashed on landing during rain in São Paulo with an estimated 199 deaths.

2007 – Trans-Neptunian Object 2007 OR10 is discovered.

2009   Jakarta double bombings at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels killed 9 people including 4 foreigners.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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